After some technical difficulties, I'm back with the game story from GU's 64-47 win over San Diego. Check back Sunday morning for a day-after post.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are used to hearing their coaches on the bench call out their plays. And now, they’re used to hearing their ex-coaches on the opposing bench call out their plays.
“It was kind of frustrating because we’d call the play and (
That familiarity and San Diego’s affinity for a slower tempo created a grind-it-out contest, so the Bulldogs turned to defense and rebounding to pull away for a 64-47 West Coast Conference victory Saturday in front of 6,000 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
The win kept the 20th-ranked Bulldogs (16-4, 7-0) unblemished in conference at the halfway point.
The aforementioned familiarity works both ways.
“When you know the plays the other team runs, especially when they run a lot of the same sets and we know so much about Grier’s background, it does benefit both teams,” GU forward Josh Heytvelt said.
Grier, in his second year at USD after 16 years as a Bulldogs assistant, had to like his team’s start better than his first visit a year ago. In that one, Gonzaga led 15-0 and won 80-70. On Thursday,
However, Gonzaga quickly recovered and
“The biggest thing we talked about was that we cannot let them get offensive rebounds,” Grier said. “We do a good job defending until about 10 on the clock and they shoot it and go get it. We have to finish off the possession.”
Austin Daye, who had a team-high 17 points, scored GU’s first six points in the second half. A 7-0 spurt capped by Heytvelt’s 3-pointer hiked the Zags’ lead to 47-28 with 10:10 remaining.
The Bulldogs made 12 of 24 shots in the second half to finish the game at 42 percent. The Toreros made six second-half 3s but not much else. They shot 33.3 percent.
“They play a lot like WSU where they pack it in defensively and they don’t push the ball very much,” said
Gonzaga shut down
“I wasn’t too happy with my performance against Diamon Simpson (of Saint Mary’s), so I tried to make a point that I can defend, in some ways,” said Daye, who often was matched up on Jones. “I just tried to keep him out of the paint.”
Gonzaga visits second-place