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Gonzaga puts charge into crowd with five first-half dunks

Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura (21) dunks the ball during the first half of a college basketball game, Tues. Nov. 14, 2017, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura (21) dunks the ball during the first half of a college basketball game, Tues. Nov. 14, 2017, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

The Gonzaga Bulldogs weren’t just looking for an easy win over Howard, they were putting on a show.

The Zags brought the fans to their feet and dunked five times in the first half of their Tuesday showing against the Bison, beginning with Silas Melson’s jam off a feed from Josh Perkins almost four minutes into the game.

Sophomore freshman Rui Hachimura took over for Johnathan Williams midway through the half. The 6-foot-8 forward pulled down a defensive rebound, made a run down the center of the court and jumped over two defenders for a one-handed dunk.

Hachimura stayed on the floor for a few seconds next to Howard’s Cameron Lewis, who sat under the basket stunned.

Big men Jacob Larsen and Killian Tillie worked together to execute Gonzaga’s third and fourth dunks of the half.

Tillie went up for a 3-pointer from the side but missed. Larsen, a 6-7 redshirt freshman who sat out last season because of injuries, grabbed the rebound and immediately dunked to give the Zags a 29-8 lead.

A minute later, Larsen attempted to hit a shot inside, but couldn’t get around three defenders. He sent the ball to Tillie behind him, who collapsed inside and dunked the ball over Larsen.

Williams capped off the frenzy with a jam in the final minutes of the half, extending Gonzaga’s lead to 54-23.

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