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GU holds off Xavier

Quick recap below. I gotta run to get quotes for a write-thru.

By Jim Meehan, (208) 765-7131

For the second straight game, the Gonzaga Bulldogs’ depth and resourcefulness were tested. Put another ‘A’ in the grade book and another ‘W’ on their record.

Playing without leading scorer Steven Gray, the Bulldogs got another big game from center Robert Sacre and solid contributions from back-up guards Mathis Keita and David Stockton to dig out a 64-54 men’s basketball win over Xavier in front of 6,000 Wednesday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Sacre scored a season-high 22 points and Elias Harris chipped in 13 points and a season-high 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs (7-5), who won their third straight game. Gonzaga made 30 of 34 free throws, 15 of 16 in the second half.

Xavier, paced by guard Tu Holloway’s 26 points, dropped to 7-3.

Gray, who left the Baylor game Saturday with back spasms, didn’t suit up. The Zags played a large portion of the first half without starting point guard Demetri Goodson (two fouls) and Marquise Carter (three fouls), Gray’s replacement in the starting lineup. And much like the Baylor game, the Zags went deep into their bench and found success. Gonzaga played long stretches with Keita throughout (five points, three rebounds and two steals) and with Stockton in the first half (three assists and two boards).

The offense again revolved around Sacre, who had 14 of his 22 points in the first half. GU consistently got the ball inside and was often rewarded with trips to the free-throw line. By half, Sacre was 6 of 6 at the stripe and Harris 4 of 5.

In the first half alone, the teams combined for 25 fouls, 26 turnovers and 29 free throws.

Gonzaga committed five turnovers early in the second half as Xavier took the lead at 37-36. Harris broke a 38-38 tie with two free throws and Keita followed with his first 3-pointer of the season. The Bulldogs stretched the lead to 49-40 on Goodson’s layup off a nice pass from Sacre.

Goodson made 4 of 4 free throws as GU remained comfortable ahead in the closing minutes.

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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpe) Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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