SPOKANE — Jill Townsend scored 18 points, Kayleigh Truong added 11 and the No. 19 Gonzaga women’s basketball team held off Brigham Young for a 63-56 victory on Tuesday night for its 15th straight victory.
The Zags (16-2 overall, 11-0 West Coast Conference) entered the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead before BYU tied the score at 54 on Shaylee Gonzales’ three-pointer with 1:54 remaining.
Cierra Walker answered with consecutive threes around a BYU turnover to help Gonzaga pull away.
Walker finished with nine points on three three-pointers.
“I’m very happy — I’m excited that we came out with the win this game,” said Walker, a redshirt senior who played three seasons at Vanderbilt. “They are rivals — and this is obviously my first year experiencing that — and I can tell why they’re our rivals.
“The game was just full of excitement and competitiveness, and it was just so fun to be a part of. I’m glad that I was able to knock down those two big threes in the final minutes of the game.”
Townsend was 6-of-13 shooting and made a made a pair of threes. Truong, who had 17 assists in the previous two games, including a career-high nine against Saint Mary’s on Saturday, had one of the team’s nine assists.
Paisley Johnson Harding scored 17 points to lead BYU (9-3, 5-2). Gonzales had 12 points.
Gonzaga outscored the Cougars 20-9 in the second quarter and led 34-22 at halftime.
“I just thought we did a really nice job of playing basketball until (the game was) tied, and then when (the game was) tied, I thought we were really tough,” Zags coach Lisa Fortier said. “We made really big plays … We didn’t look shook. We looked really veteran.”
Brigham Young hosts Pepperdine on Thursday. Gonzaga plays at home against San Francisco on Feb. 11.