PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP)Gonzaga stayed on the attack, particularly on the glass and in spite of a bevy of turnovers. The result was a takedown of No. 6 Louisville – and the second straight upset of a top-10 team to end the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Brynna Maxwell scored 21 points while Eliza Hollingsworth added 18 to help the Bulldogs beat the Cardinals 79-67 in overtime on Saturday night, a win that came immediately after Marquette’s win against No. 3 Texas.
And just as the Golden Eagles in their game, the Bulldogs marked the highest-ranked opponent they had beaten in program history.
”Gosh, they battled,” Gonzaga coach Lisa Fortier said.
And as Fortier noted, it wasn’t always pretty.
Gonzaga shot just 38.9% through regulation and won despite committing 29 turnovers, which led to 28 points for Louisville (3-1). But they got production throughout the lineup, from Maxwell’s four 3-pointers and Kaylynne Truong’s strong overtime to a dominating showing on the glass.
On the other side, it was a performance that left Cardinals coach Jeff Walz fuming.
”The problem is we just didn’t have all five competing at the same time,” Walz said. ”One person jogs up the floor and it’s their person that scores. then the next possession, they’ll run hard but then somebody else won’t do their job. And that’s a recipe for disaster.”
Hailey Van Lith scored 16 of her 18 points after halftime for the Cardinals, though she made just 5 of 20 shots on the night. That fit the overall picture for the Cardinals, who shot 39.1% for the game and made just 3 of 16 3-pointers.
Gonzaga: The Zags lost to the Cardinals on the road in the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament. The preseason West Coast Conference favorite made a statement with this win, the kind that could land it in the next AP Top 25.
”I think coming from last year’s (game), we knew that Louisville is a very pressure-heavy team,” Hollingsworth said. ”And we knew we needed to go through the contact, not shy away,”
Louisville: The Cardinals had outrebounded all three of their opponents, but they were beaten 50-31 on the glass. That led to a 24-3 edge in second-chance points for the Zags.
”It’s Year 16 here for me, and I don’t know if we’ve ever been outrebounded as bad as we were tonight,” Walz said.
Truong surpassed her season scoring average (8.7) in the overtime, scoring 10 of her 16 points.
She banked in a score in the paint on an aggressive drive to open the overtime, then came through with a driving score along the right baseline while being fouled by Olivia Cochran for a three-point play and a 67-61 lead with 3:30 left.
As the final seconds ticked away, Gonzaga’s McKayla Williams couldn’t wait to celebrate with her team and headed toward the bench to jump around while the players there held back for the horn.
Once it sounded, they ran out to mob each other with hugs, then went skipping off the court toward the locker room by the dejected Louisville players slowly making their way off the court.
Before Saturday, Gonzaga’s top win against a ranked opponent had come against No. 8 Stanford in December 2018. … Gonzaga made all four of its shots in the overtime along with making 10 of 13 free throws. Louisville shot just 2 for 10. … The Zags made 20 of 23 free throws for the game. … Louisville had 19 defensive rebounds to Gonzaga’s 18 offensive boards, with Walz noting his team managed to snag just one more of Gonzaga’s missed shots. … Van Lith had four steals, four assists and three rebounds to offset her shaky shooting night.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs advanced to Sunday’s semifinals to face Marquette.
Louisville: The Cardinals will face No. 3 Texas in an unexpected consolation-bracket pairing Sunday.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap
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