You know the drill.
Several items to look back on from Gonzaga's 82-60 win over the Toreros and a lot to look forward to with Saturday's showdown against BYU. Check back later today for my GU-BYU preview.
Here's my GU-USD game story. More below in my day-after San Diego post.
--Domantas Sabonis put up Domantas Sabonis-type numbers, but it was tough sledding early. The sophomore forward ran up against San Diego paint patroller Jito Kok, the program’s all-time shot-blocker who is second in conference in history.
The agile, 6-foot-9 Kok swatted Sabonis three times in the first 4:30. Sabonis also had four turnovers in the opening half, which ended with the 6-10 Sabonis making just 3 of 10 from the field.
“He’s a really good athlete, it’s tough to play against him,” Sabonis said. “It was just the first half. I had to keep on going for the full game.”
Sabonis had a strong second half, making 5 of 8 shots and scoring 10 points to go with nine rebounds and zero turnovers. His final numbers: 17 points and 17 boards.
“I tried to pump fake more,” Sabonis said. “I should have thought of that before.”
Kok finished with five blocks.
--San Diego is offensively challenged at times. The Toreros are the only team in the WCC averaging under 60 points (59.9), 7.5 points less than No. 9 Santa Clara.
If not for a late flurry of the 3-pointers with the outcome long decided, San Diego probably would have been in the mid-50s last night. GU shut down wing Duda Sanadze (scoreless in the first half) and the Toreros don’t have a ton of other options. Kok finished with 11 points, as did Vasa Pusica. Olin Carter III contributed 13 points but was just 5 of 12 from the field.
“I thought we played great defense on everybody," coach Mark Few said, "especially before we subbed our defense was fantastic."
San Diego scored 52 points in the first meeting with Gonzaga.
Gonzaga has limited its last 14 opponents to roughly 64 points per game. Only two have reached 70 points.
“All-out effort and attention to detail,” guard Kyle Dranginis said. “You can’t take any more plays off from here on out.”
STATS OF NOTE
--Dranginis and Silas Melson each went 2 of 3 beyond the arc. The only other Zag to connect from distance was Dustin Triano in the closing minutes.
--Gonzaga made 14 of 15 second-half free throws. Kyle Wiltjer was 6 of 6, Melson 6 of 7.
--Josh Perkins didn’t have an assist for the first time this season. He had one assist against UCLA and one versus Washington. Eric McClellan and Dranginis each had three assists.
--Ryan Edwards fouled out in just 11 minutes. He had a nice three-point play and two rebounds before exiting.
--Zag guards combined for 46 points. Bryan Alberts, who didn’t play against Saint Mary’s, logged 13 minutes.
Melson: “I say this so much but we had the bounce-back mentality. Seeing that Domas was struggling earlier, you know he’s going to get going eventually, you just try to pick up the slack.”
Sabonis: “We know it’s going to be a crazy environment (at BYU). We’re going to give it our all because it’s the final (regular season game). We have to come out with everything.”
Few on having a chance at a conference title: “And that’s what we’ve been trying to express to them. We’ve had some teams that have been here before, that have won it on the last weekend and the last night. It’s not going to be easy. It’s a great environment but hopefully we’ll play great.”