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Gonzaga’s Johnathan Williams finds his voice in win over Texas Southern

Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams (3) eyes the basket during the first half of a college basketball game, Fri. Nov. 10, 2017, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams (3) eyes the basket during the first half of a college basketball game, Fri. Nov. 10, 2017, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Johnathan Williams isn’t much of a talker, but in Friday’s 97-69 win over Texas Southern, the 6-9 forward had a few words for the opposing big man.

Midway through the first half, Williams went up for a basket and the Tigers’ 7-2 center Trayyvon Reed stepped in and blocked the shot.

There was a collision when Williams came down from the shot that caused him to slightly twist his ankle. That sparked a few heated exchanges between the two big men.

The pair were quickly separated by a few of their teammates, ending the feud immediately.

“You don’t want to know what he said,” Williams said. “There were some words. But it’s basketball, it comes with the territory.”

The occasional on-court tiffs are common, but not for Williams. The redshirt senior has been known to take the quieter route against his opponents, especially against those who tend to be a bit more fiery on the court.

“Sometimes you’re going to butt heads with … your opponent,” Williams said. “(I) just find ways to beat them mentally, and physically.”

Williams kept the pressure on Reed throughout the rest of the game, and delivered some payback in the final minutes with a huge swat that blocked Reed’s hook shot. Williams, who finished with 16 points for the Zags, helped hold Reed to 13 points and six makes inside.