Zags cruise past Eastern Washington, 84-44

Zags cruise past Eastern Washington, 84-44

The 23/21 Gonzaga women’s basketball team defeated visiting Eastern Washington 84-44 Friday evening in front of 6,000 fans inside the McCarthey Athletic Center. It marks the 32nd sellout since the facility opened in 2004.

Gonzaga (3-1) was led by Katie Campbell’s 13 points, three rebounds, three assists, steal and a block. Kayleigh Truong added 12 points—nine of which came in the third quarter—while Melody Kempton added 11 for her second-straight double-digit scoring effort. Jill Townsend led the effort on the glass with a season-high nine rebounds, while Jessie Loera added a game-high four assists.

“It never feels easy against Eastern,” head women’s basketball coach Lisa Fortier said. “They make you work for everything.”

The Bulldogs won the battle on the glass 40-30 and dominated the Eagles inside, posting a 36-16 advantage inside the paint. Gonzaga also scored 21 points off 20 forced turnovers on Eastern Washington, in addition to outscoring the Eagles’ bench, 38-17.

At the end of the first quarter, the Zags led Eastern Washington (0-4) 23-10, and by halftime Gonzaga had extended its lead to 17 (43-26).

“I think we were really gritty, but we had some slumps, we had some up-and-downs,” Campbell said. “I think we really refocused well, we came together well. We executed and knew what we had to do defensively. I think our defense really got us this game in the end, and our just grit to win.”

Coming out of the break, Gonzaga locked down defensively on EWU, limiting the Eagles to 15.4 percent shooting for five points in the third quarter. Kayleigh Truong netted nine points herself in the third period, helping GU to a 13-5 scoring advantage to extend its lead to 25 (56-31). The Zags continued to roll in the final period as they shot 75.0 percent from the floor including 50 percent from long range for 28 points. With a minute left to go, GU led by 40 and rolled to the 84-44 victory.

“Our defense was aggressive,” Fortier said. “[Eastern Washington] struggled versus the press from time to time, and just one on one. I thought that individually we had spurts where we did a really good job.”

Eastern Washington was led by Grace Kirscher with a game-high 15 points off 6-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-4 from long range. Bella Craves added a team-high six rebounds.

Gonzaga returns to the floor Friday, Nov. 29 against Dayton in the first round of the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla. Check for updates and game day information.