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No. 23 Gonzaga women snap tie with Pilots in WCC

Zags honor Vandersloot by retiring her jersey

By The Associated Press
Published: February 11, 2023, 3:54pm

SPOKANE — Kaylynne Truong scored 20 points to lead No. 23 Gonzaga to a 63-53 win over Portland to snap a first-place with the Pilots on a Saturday when the Bulldogs retired the jersey of Courtney Vandersloot.

Truong, who went over 1,000 points for her career, made 4 of 8 3-point tries including one with four minutes left to give the Bulldogs (23-3, 13-1 West Coast Conference) an 11-point lead that Truong stretched to 13 with a pair of free throws.

Brynna Maxwell kept her streak alive of making a 3-pointer in every game this season with two makes and 13 points. Yvonne Ejim and McKayla Williams added 11 points each. Gonzaga finished 7 of 21 from the arc, 6 of 13 in the second half.

Alex Fowler and Maisie Burnham scored 13 points each for the Pilots (18-7, 12-2), who had a six-game win streak snapped.

After a ragged first half that ended with Portland leading 19-18, Gonzaga outscored the Pilots 27-15 in the third quarter with a stretch that included seven straight makes.

Neither team reached 34% shooting in the first half when the teams combined to go 2 of 17 from the arc.

Portland’s only two WCC losses have come against Gonzaga, which has won six straight over the Pilots.

Gonzaga is host to Pacific and Portland is home against Saint Mary’s, both games on Thursday.

VANDERSLOOT HONORED

Vandersloot was present with a sellout crowd at 6,000-seat McCarthey Athletic Center when her No. 21 jersey was retired before the game, the first Gonzaga women’s player to be so honored.

The point guard, who earned a number of All-American honors including a second-team pick on The Associated Press team, was a three-time player of the year in the WCC and set the NCAA single-season assists record with 367 as a senior when she led Gonzaga to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.

She was the first Division I player, female or male, to reach career totals of both 2,000 points and 1,000 assists.

Vandersloot recently signed a free-agent contract with the New York Liberty after having spent her entire WNBA career with the Chicago Sky, who drafted her with the third overall pick in 2011. She helped lead the Sky to their only championship in 2021.

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