NEXT GAME: Saturday, Jan. 11: Gonzaga Bulldogs at Loyola Marymount Lions, 1 p.m. PST TV: Fox 28/ROOT Sports
SAN DIEGO – Joel Ayayi scored 20 points, Filip Petrusev added 17 in limited minutes and the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs rolled past the San Diego Toreros 94-50 on Thursday at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Ayayi, who has been a bit of a revelation for the Zags this season, filled up the stat sheet again. The redshirt sophomore guard from France pulled down six rebounds and also had three assists. He was also 7-of-12 shooting and made 3 of 5 from 3-pointer range.
Petrusev scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half and played just 15 minutes total. Seems coach Mark Few wanted to keep the sophomore forward’s minutes down as the Zags play again on Saturday at 1.
Yauhen Massalski, Jared Rodriguez and Braun Hartfield each had nine points to lead San Diego.
The Toreros shot 32.8% in the game and made just 3 of 16 from 3. They shot just 23.1% in the first half as the Bulldogs raced out to a 53-16 lead at halftime.
San Diego also turned the ball over 19 times, which the Zags turned into 25 points.
Gonzaga, like usual, dominated inside. The Bulldogs outrebounded USD, 47-27, scored more points in the paint, 52-18, and earned more second-chance points, 22-7. Killian Tillie scored just six points for GU, but hauled in a game-high 10 rebounds.
Admon Gilder came off the bench to score 12 points for Gonzaga. He made 5-of-6 free throws as the Zags, who have struggled from the line this season, connected on 14 of 19.
Corey Kispert was the only other Bulldog in double figures. The forward from Edmonds, Washington, had 10 points and took just six shots.
Stadium / YouTube
15:59 – Gonzaga 12, USD 5: Gonzaga’s big men have found success early against the Toreros, with Filip Petrusev scoring five points and substitute Drew Timme adding four.
GU went to Petrusev on its first three possessions. The forward picked up a questionable offensive foul on the first play when he made contact with a San Diego defender inside the restricted area under the basket. The native of Serbia followed that with a tough hook shot in the lane and an and-1 from on a contested layup. After making the free throw, Petrusev was replaced by Timme.
Joel Ayayi stepped into a 3 to put GU up 10-3 and San Diego needed a timeout to try and slow the Bulldogs’ momentum just 3 minutes into the game.
11:13 – Gonzaga 27, USD 6: Filip Petrusev has seven points and the red-hot Bulldogs lead by 21 just nine minutes into the game.
Joel Ayayi has added five for Gonzaga, which is 12-of-18 shooting.
Gonzaga has forced San Diego into five turnovers and has turned those into six points.
One issue for Gonzaga: foul trouble on the bigs. Substitutes Anton Watson and Drew Timme each have two fouls, while starters Filip Petrusev and Killian Tillie each have one. San Diego is already in the bonus.
7:51 – Gonzaga 31, USD 10: All eight Zags who have played have scored and GU continues to stymie the Toreros.
Filip Petrusev leads Gonzaga with nine points, Joel Ayayi has five and Drew Timme and Ryan Woolridge each have two.
Gonzaga is shooting 60.9% from the field and have held San Diego to just 17.6% shooting. The Torreos have been held to 17 shot attempts and have turned the ball over six times.
GU leads in points in the paint, 22-4, and rebounds, 14-7, as their bigs have had little trouble with San Diego’s forwards.
Woolridge exited the game after he appeared to hurt his knee when he was chipped by a ball screen.
3:51 – Gonzaga 42, USD 14: Filip Petrusev is up to 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and the Zags are cruising.
Joel Ayayi has seven for GU, while Ryan Woolridge, who returned from an injury scare, has six.
The Bulldogs have held USD to 5-of-22 shooting and forced nine Toreros’ turnovers.
Forward Yauhen Massalski leads San Diego with eight points.
Half – Gonzaga 53, USD 16: Filip Petrusev has 15 points, Corey Kispert has 10 and the Bulldogs have clamped down on the host Toreros through the first 20 minutes.
Gonzaga’s defense pressed USD into 6-of-26 shooting in the half, with only Toreros’ leading scorer Yauhen Massalski connecting on over 50% of his shots. The Toreros also turned the ball over 14 times and grabbed just three offensive rebounds.
Gonzaga outrebounded San Diego 26-13 behind Killian Tillie’s game-high eight boards.
Ryan Woolridge has added eight points for Gonzaga while Joel Ayayi has chipped in seven.
Massalaski has eight for USD.
Other areas GU has dominated: fast-break points (20-2), points off turnovers (19-4) and points in the paint (34-8).
15:34 – Gonzaga 59, USD 25: A 9-2 run by Toreros into the first media timeout of the second half cuts the lead to 34.
Filip Petrusev has 17 points for Gonzaga. San Diego is led by Yauhen Massalski’s eight points.
11:29 – Gonzaga 70, USD 28: A Joel Ayayi 3 gets the Zags up to 70 points with just over a quarter of the game to play.
Ayayi is filling up the stat sheet again for Gonzaga. The guard from France is up to 14 points and has six rebounds and two assists.
7:29 – Gonzaga 75, USD 35: Joel Ayayi and Filip Petrusev each have 17 points to lead the Zags, who continue to roll.
Braun Hartfield has nine points on 4-of-13 shooting to lead San Diego.
3:41 – Gonzaga 83, USD 46: Joel Ayayi is up to 20 points to lead all scorers and the Zags still lead by 38.
Gonzaga, holding the big lead, has given plenty of time to little-used reserves Martynas Arlauskas and Pavel Zakharov in the second half. Zakharov has two points, Arlauskas has a steal. Matthew Lang has also checked in for GU.
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