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Recap and highlights: Joel Ayayi, No. 1 Gonzaga roll past Northern Arizona

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 28, 2020

Joel Ayayi had 17 points and 10 rebounds and No. 1 Gonzaga got points from 11 players in a 88-58 win against Northern Arizona on Monday night at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane.

Ayayi, who made 4-of-5 3-pointers, played just 20 minutes as the Bulldogs raced out to a 51-23 halftime lead.

Gonzaga forward Drew Timme added 14 points and six rebounds in just 20 minutes as well.

Freshman point guard Dominick Harris came off the bench to chip in 12 points for GU (8-0). Andrew Nembhard, starting in place of injured point guard Jalen Suggs, scored 10 points and had a game-high seven assists.

Suggs sat out with a right leg injury he suffered during the Zags’ win against Virginia on Saturday. The team says the injury is not serious.

Cameron Shelton led Northern Arizona (1-6) with 20 points on 7-of-18 shooting. The Lumberjacks shot 35.1%.

Gonzaga shot 50% and 25% from 3-point range. It made just one 3-pointer on nine tries in the second half.

Anton Watson added nine points for Gonzaga. Corey Kispert had eight points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes. Aaron Cook had seven points, Oumar Ballo had five and Julian Strawther, Pavel Zakharov and Will Graves each had two for the Zags.

Gonzaga plays again tomorrow against Dixie State. Tip is set for 6 p.m. in McCarthey.

Gonzaga Bulldogs / YouTube

First half

14:09 – Gonzaga 22, NAU 5: Joel Ayayi scored the first five points of the game as the Bulldogs have raced out to a 17-point lead just six minutes into the game.

Ayayi has nine points on 3-of-4 shooting. Andrew Nembhard, starting in place of the injured point guard Jalen Suggs, has seven points for GU. The Zags are shooting 75%.

11:37 – Gonzaga 28, NAU 10: Drew Timme has made his last four shots and has eight points for GU.

Jay Green leads the Lumberjacks with eight points. NAU is shooting 30.8% while the Zags continue to shoot 75%. 

6:53 – Gonzaga 36, NAU 16: The Zags lead by 20 at the under-8 break behind 10 points from guard Andrew Nembhard.

Nembhard, starting in place of injured point guard Jalen Suggs, is 4-of-5 shooting and has made two 3-pointers. Suggs is out with a right leg injury he suffered during the Virginia game. The team says the injury is not serious.

Jay Green has 10 points to lead the Lumberjacks.

Gonzaga freshmen Oumar Ballo, Dominick Harris and Julian Strawther have all seen the floor. Harris has shown a desire to get to the rim off the dribble, but is just 1-of-5 shooting for two points. Ballo has three points.

 

2:57 – Gonzaga 44, NAU 18: Three Bulldogs are in double-figures scoring as GU continues to build its lead over the Lumberjacks.

Joey Ayayi leads the Zags with 14 points. Andrew Nembhard and Drew Timme each have 10 points.

The Zags have made just one of their last eight 3-point attempts.

Halftime

Gonzaga 51, NAU 23: Bulldogs guard Joey Ayayi has 14 points, Andrew Nembhard and Drew Timme each have 10 points and GU is up 28 points on the Lumberjacks at halftime in The Kennel.

Ayayi is 5-of-6 shooting and has made 3-of-4 3-pointers. He also has a game-high nine rebounds. 

The Zags are shooting 51.4% and have held NAU to 22.9% from the field.

Jay Green leads the Lumberjacks with 10 points. Cameron Shelton has added seven points, but is just 2-of-9 shooting.

Nembhard, starting in place of injured point guard Jalen Suggs, is 4-of-6 shooting and has made two 3-pointers. He also has three assists.

Suggs is out with a right leg injury he suffered during the Virginia game. The team says the injury is not serious.

Gonzaga leading scorer Corey Kispert has been kept quiet with just four points on 2-of-6 shooting. The senior has pulled down seven rebounds as the Zags hold a 30-17 edge on the boards.

Second half

15:00 – Gonzaga 60, NAU 25: The Zags open the second half with a 9-2 run behind Joel Ayayi and Drew Timme.

Ayayi made his fourth 3-pointer of the game and has 17 points. Timme has four points in the half and 14 for the game.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few was assessed a technical foul after arguing about a charge call against Timme early in the half.

11:08 – Gonzaga 69, NAU 37: Point guard Andrew Nembhard has seven assists for the Bulldogs, who have made five of their last six shots.

Joel Ayayi has 17 points and 10 rebounds for GU.

7:48 – Gonzaga 79, NAU 45: Ten players have played for the Zags and 10 players have scored for the Zags as sophomore center Pavel Zakharov checks in and scores.

The Lumberjacks are shooting 60% in the second half as Gonzaga hasn’t been able to build much on its 28-point halftime lead. Guard fCameron Shelton leads NAU with 14 points.

Starting 5

Pregame

Individual leaders

POINTS PPG FG% FT%
Cameron Shelton (NAU) 19.7 42.9 73.6
Corey Kispert (GU) 22.4 63.6 86.4
REBOUNDS RPG DRPG ORPG
Carson Towt (NAU) 5.3 3.5 1.8
Drew Timme (GU) 7.6 4.4 3.1
ASSISTS APG TOPG MPG
Cameron Shelton (NAU) 2.3 3.3 34.8
Jalen Suggs (GU) 5.9 2.7 27.3

Team stats

  NAU Gonzaga
Points 58.7 95.1
Points allowed 79.3 76.7
Field goal pct. 37.6 55.7
Rebounds 26.5 39.4
Assists 9.7 21.6
Blocks 1.3 3.0
Steals 4.7 9.0
Streak Won 1 Won 7

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