Zags cruise past CSU Bakersfield in home -and season- opener
SPOKANE, Wash. — The Gonzaga women’s basketball team used an explosive second quarter to surge past visiting CSU Bakersfield 92-48 Sunday afternoon at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
“It felt good,” head women’s basketball coach Lisa Fortier said. “I thought we did a nice job…I think we are going to be able to outlast teams, just like we did last year. I told the team that I wasn’t sure if our depth was a huge part of this team’s success plan or not, but it has potential to be. And today it was.”
Gonzaga (1-0) finished with four players in double-figures, led by freshman guard Kayleigh Truong who netted 18 in her official collegiate debut. Truong finished 6-of-9 from the floor including 4-of-6 from long range with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jenn Wirth added a career-high 17 points, six boards, two assists and two blocks, while LeeAnne Wirth also finished with a career-high with 14 points. Katie Campbell rounded out the double-figure scoring with 13 points while Jessie Loera dished out a game-high nine assists.
“[Today] was great,” Kayleigh Truong said. “We’ve been playing for so long now—the past six months I think—but being able to officially count this game feels really good.”
After the first quarter, the Zags led CSU Bakersfield (1-2) 16-10, but the somewhat slow start for the Bulldogs was short-lived as Gonzaga exploded in the second quarter for 28 points. Just 90 seconds into the second period GU held a four-point advantage (18-14), but a bucket from Kayleigh Truong 20 seconds later ignited a 26-0 Bulldog run over the next 3:30 to give GU a comfortable 20-point lead, 34-14. By the end of the third, that lead was extended to 38 points, and a 22-point fourth quarter sealed the 92-48 victory.
The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 55.9 percent from the floor—including 45.5 percent from long range—and finished 80.0 percent from the charity stripe. The Zags out-rebounded the Roadrunners 38-27 and scored 35 points off 22 CSUB turnovers. Gonzaga also dished out 22 assists in the win and finished with 11 steals.
“I think the biggest thing for me is just the way that we’ve shared the ball,” Jenn Wirth said. “Especially in the second half. The coaches read the stats off to us, and I just think it’s going to be a trend that every game it’s going to be someone new as the player of the game. I think that we all are really excited about that and are all really selfless players so it’s going to work out for us.”
Cal State Bakersfield was led by Lexus Green with nine points off 4-of-12 shooting while Miracle Saxon and Vanessa Austin led the ‘Runners with four boards each.
Gonzaga returns to the floor Thursday, Nov. 14 against UT Martin at 7:30 p.m. inside the McCarthey Athletic Center. The game will be broadcast locally on SWX with live stats available at GoZags.com.