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Gonzaga Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Size doesn’t matter for Texas Southern’s Demontrae Jefferson

Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams, top, and Texas Southern guard Demontrae Jefferson go after the ball during the first half of a Nov. 10, 2017 game in Spokane. (Young Kwak / Associated Press)
Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams, top, and Texas Southern guard Demontrae Jefferson go after the ball during the first half of a Nov. 10, 2017 game in Spokane. (Young Kwak / Associated Press)

Demontrae Jefferson might be small, but he gave the Zags quite a workout.

And quite the earful.

The sophomore guard measures up to 5-7 in his basketball shoes, making him the smallest member of Texas Southern’s roster, which includes and 7-2 center Trayyvon Reed.

His size didn’t seem to hold Jefferson back in Gonzaga’s 97-69 win, and it certainly didn’t leave him short in confidence against his noticeably bigger opponents.

Jefferson was talking up the Zags even before the game started, throwing out some comments across the court during warm-ups.

Throughout the entire game, Jefferson stayed in the ear of Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins, spatting some words to the junior guard that struck some nerves.

“I know him from high school, so that’s why it got a little chippy,” Perkins said. “… he did fire me up, that’s for sure.”

Jefferson was a little more than just talk inside the Kennel. He used his small stature and quick feet to his advantage and zipped between the Zags to post a team-high 20 points for the Tigers.

Over the years, Jefferson said he’s figured out how to play against the big guys who tower over him, like Gonzaga’s 6-9 forward Johnathan Williams.

“I try to keep space … and keep away from the bigger fellas,” Jefferson said. “It’s a lot about space and angles, and taking advantage of the guys when they (get tired) on defense.”

Jefferson had six field goals against the Zags, including three from 3-point range. He even took on Williams inside a few times and nearly dunked on the Gonzaga’s bench players in the final minutes of the game when he touched the rim and tipped the ball in.

“Yeah, and I would have dunked if it didn’t slip,” he said.

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