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Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s: 3 keys to the Bulldogs’ 78-65 victory

Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura scored 23 points in Saturday’s victory over Saint Mary’s in Moraga, Calif. (Craig Mitchelldyer / AP)

Key moment

It’s tough not to pick Gonzaga’s blazing start. The Zags opened with 3-pointers by Josh Perkins, Silas Melson and Zach Norvell to put SMC in a 9-2 hole. That set the tone as GU led by 17 just seven minutes into the game.

Offensive player of the game

Sophomore forward Rui Hachimura torched the Gaels for the second time this season. He poured in 21 points, mostly on the low block against overmatched defenders, on 10-of-14 shooting. Hachimura also scored 23 points in the first meeting.

Defensive player of the game

Senior forward Johnathan Williams and company silenced center Jock Landale. GU double-teams frustrated the big man, who scored just four points on 2-of-4 shooting. He had four assists, but the Gaels couldn’t consistently make the Zags pay when Landale drew two defenders. Landale also had three turnovers.