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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Zags crush Portland

Here's a quick game story from Gonzaga's 76-48 runaway victory over Portland. I've gotta run for quotes.

Read on below.

By Jim Meehan

Gonzaga hasn’t had the luxury of many blowout victories this season, but the Bulldogs enjoyed one Thursday night.

The 17th-ranked Bulldogs exploded over the last 7 minutes and 30 seconds of the first half, outscoring Portland 26-6 to take command and coast past the Portland Pilots 76-48 in front of an energetic audience of 6,000 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Gonzaga (18-4, 7-1) bounced back from Saturday’s overtime loss to San Francisco with one of its most complete performances of the season. Gonzaga steps out of conference to visit Memphis on Saturday. Portland dropped to 14-8, 5-3.

After a slow start offensively by both teams, Gonzaga found its stride, with Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray temporarily on the bench, to break away from a 15-all tie. Manny Arop, who spearheaded a strong contribution from Gonzaga’s reserves, pulled down a rebound and scored in traffic with 7:25 left, triggering a 20-2 GU run. Demetri Goodson chipped in five of his eight first-half points and Arop made a 3-pointer as the Bulldogs went in front 27-17.

Grant Gibbs added a three-point play and Bouldin struck for field goals on three straight possessions as the Bulldogs’ lead grew to 18. Arop’s putback gave Gonzaga a 41-21 edge at intermission. Seven of Arop’s eight points came in the first half.

The Bulldogs didn’t let up in the second half, moving on top by 25 on an Elias Harris basket and Goodson’s 3-point play.

The Pilots got few open looks, inside or outside. Jared Stohl hit a couple of early 3-pointers before the Pilots’ perimeter offense dried up. Point guard T.J. Campbell, a 44.1-percent 3-point shooter, missed his first five 3-point attempts before connecting on one midway through the second half. By then, Gonzaga was comfortably in front 55-26.

Meanwhile, Gonzaga made 53.1 percent of its shots in the first half and finished 29 of 58 (50 percent). Bouldin made four 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 20 points, moving up to 10th on GU’s all-time scoring list. Goodson had 12 points and three assists and Harris chipped in 10 points and seven boards. Eleven Bulldogs scored as Gonzaga led by as many as 31 in the second half.

Forward Robin Smeulders led Portland with 12 points. The Pilots made just 35.8 percent from the field, 23.8 percent from behind the 3-point line.


Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. Jim is currently a reporter for the Sports Desk and covers Gonzaga University basketball, Spokane Empire football, college volleyball and golf.

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