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Gonzaga’s Jacob Larsen forms one-man SWAT team against Utah State

Gonzaga center Jacob Larsen blocks a shot by Utah State forward Dwayne Brown Jr. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga center Jacob Larsen blocks a shot by Utah State forward Dwayne Brown Jr. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga freshman Jacob Larsen only played seven minutes but that was more than enough to make an impact defensively in the Zags’ 79-66 win over Utah State.

The Zags were in the midst of a 17-0 run that finally subdued the visitors when they went to a 2-3 zone for the first time in the game.

The 6-foot-11 Larsen was stationed in the middle of the zone and swatted three shots in a span of four Utah State possessions. Each block was met by louder ovations from the crowd.

The Danish native also had a nice finish in the lane and fed Killian Tillie for a layup.

“We didn’t execute (the scouting report in the first half) the way we should have,” Larsen said. “I feel we corrected that in the second half.”

Larsen played just one minute in the opening half but quickly fell for an up-and-under move by Utah State’s Alex Dargenton. Larsen picked up two fouls and departed, but he made amends in the second half.

“He was a force in there and contested some shots, which we weren’t doing a very good job of,” coach Mark Few said. “Both Tillie and J3 (Johnathan Williams) didn’t give us much rim protection. I think he came down with a couple of nice rebounds and that let’s our perimeters extend out and lets him patrol the paint.”

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