UMaine had its lowest output in the 62-43 loss at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington.
University of Maine women's basketball coach Amy Vachon in a 2021 file photo. Credit: Seth Poplaski / UMaine Athletics

The University of Maine women’s basketball matched baskets with No. 23 Gonzaga University for most of the first half of their Monday contest, but a 10-2 Gonzaga spurt to close out the half gave the Zags a 10-point lead at the intermission. The team pulled away in the second half for a 62-43 win at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington.

Gonzaga, which was held to its lowest point total of the season and entered the game averaging 75.8 points per game, improved to 6-1 while the Black Bears fell to 3-4. It was also UMaine’s lowest output.

Gonzaga, which is seeking its sixth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, was paced by senior guard Kaylynne Truong’s 15 points, six assists, three rebounds and two steals.

University of Utah transfer and Utes 1,000-point scorer Brynna Maxwell contributed 13 points and three rebounds for Gonzaga. The guard, a graduate student, was one of 25 players named to the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award watch list in the preseason.

Gonzaga junior forward Yvonne Ejim contributed 10 points, eight rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals, and junior forward Eliza Hollingsworth finished with 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers during that 10-2 flurry, along with five rebounds and two steals.

Redshirt freshman guard Calli Stokes had seven points and seven rebounds.

Windham freshman guard Sarah Talon was UMaine’s only double-figure scorer with 13 points. She also dished out four assists.

Junior guard-forward Caroline Bornemann had seven points and two rebounds for UMaine. Junior guard Olivia Rockwood, sophomore guard Paula Gallego and sophomore forward Adrianna Smith produced five points apiece.

Smith also had five rebounds and two assists, Gallego grabbed four rebounds and Rockwood had three steals.

The taller Zags outrebounded UMaine 41-24 and 14 of those were offensive rebounds leading to a 16-2 edge in second-chance points.

The Zags shot 47.2 percent from the floor (25-for-53) compared with UMaine’s 34.7 percent (34.7 percent), and they connected on 50 percent of their three-pointers (6-for-12) while UMaine was just 26.3 percent (5-for-19) beyond the three-point arc.

Gonzaga was clinging to a 22-20 lead with 3:45 left in the half when Ejim grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it in to extend the lead to four.

Truong grabbed an offensive rebound and fed Hollingsworth for a 3-pointer and, after Smith hit a short jumper for UMaine, Hollingsworth nailed another three off a Truong pass to make it 30-22 with 1:29 remaining.

“Those two threes really hurt us,” UMaine head coach Amy Vachon told Van Wagner/Black Bear Sports Properties play-by-play man Don Shields.

Maxwell closed out the half with a pair of free throws.

During that 10-2 run, UMaine turned the ball over four times and the Zags grabbed three offensive rebounds.

“We put up a great fight,” Vachon said. “Our defense was really good.”

She said turnovers hurt them in the first half, but they did a much better job protecting the ball in the second half.

“We gave up too many second-chance points in the second half,” she added.

She said her team did “a lot of good things” during its three-game West Coast road trip in which it went 1-2.

“We just have to keep getting better,” Vachon said.

The Black Bears were again without America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Anne Simon, who is nursing a leg injury.

UMaine returns home to take on Princeton at 7 p.m. Friday at the Memorial Gym in Orono.

Princeton, which is currently 3-2, made its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010 last season.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the day of UMaine’s next game. It is Friday.