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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Feb. 21, 2024

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Gonzaga women’s basketball routs No. 3 Stanford

Bulldogs hand No. 3 Cardinal worst loss in 4 years

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SPOKANE — Brynna Maxwell scored a season-high 27 points, Yvonne Ejim added 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Gonzaga handed No. 3 Stanford its worst loss in nearly four years beating the Cardinal 96-78 on Sunday.

The Bulldogs (8-2) won their 24th straight home game and beat the Cardinal for only the third time in 16 games. Gonzaga last beat Stanford in 2018 in what’s become an almost yearly matchup between the private West Coast schools.

“The players are very excited and they’re proud of themselves, which they should be,” Gonzaga coach Lisa Fortier said. “Celebrating in the locker room is part of the deal at Gonzaga and I’m happy to be a part of it too.”

Stanford’s perfect start to the season came crashing down behind a barrage of hot shooting by the Bulldogs. Gonzaga finished with five players in double figures, shot 54% and hit 10 3-pointers.

Maud Huijbens scored 15 points for the Bulldogs, while Kaylynne Truong added 10 points, four assists and four rebounds. Eliza Hollingsworth also finished with 10 points.

Courtney Ogden, Hannah Jump and Nunu Agara led Stanford (8-1) with 13 points each. Leading scorer Cameron Brink finished with just 10 points, played only 12 minutes and didn’t play in the second half due to illness. Kiki Iriafen also finished with 10 points.

“Our players played really hard, but Gonzaga was clearly the better team,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “They have very experienced players and we can learn from this.”

It was the most lopsided loss for the Cardinal since losing to Oregon 89-56 in the 2020 Pac-12 tournament championship game. The 96 points were the most Stanford has allowed since giving up 102 in an overtime loss to Oklahoma in 2000.

“We didn’t execute offensively and they did,” VanDerveer said. “We need to work on moving the ball better and being more aggressive defensively. They were the more aggressive team today and we didn’t rebound well or shoot free throws well.”

The Zags jumped out to a 20-12 lead in the first quarter behind the efforts of Maxwell and Ejim, who both contributed eight points in the quarter. Stanford pulled within 45-41 at halftime, but the Bulldogs blew the game open in the third quarter. Gonzaga outscored Stanford 32-16 in the third and led by 20 going into the fourth quarter.

The Cardinal are the highest-ranked opponent the Zags have defeated in program history.

“It’s very rewarding, it’s special to be a part of that,” Hollingsworth said. “We’ve put in the work and we knew we could do it.”

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