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Gonzaga Basketball

Recap and highlights: No. 1 Gonzaga beats Saint Mary’s, wins WCC title

Corey Kispert scored 20 points and the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs beat Saint Mary’s 87-65 to claim the West Coast Conference regular-season championship Thursday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane.

Joel Ayayi added 16 points for the Zags (21-0, 12-0 WCC). Drew Timme scored 12 points and Andrew Nembhard had 10.

Judah Brown had 16 points to lead Saint Mary’s (11-7, 2-5). Standout guard Tommy Kushe was held to four points.

Gonzaga used a 10-1 run to jump out to a 10-point lead 6:30 into the game. The Bulldogs led 51-24 at halftime and by as much as 38 in the second half.

Zags guard Jalen Suggs had eight points, a game-high five assists and two rebounds. Ayayi grabbed a team-best six rebounds.

Anton Watson came off the bench to add eight points for GU. He also grabbed four rebounds.

The Zags picked up their 20th win over the Gaels in the last 24 meetings.

Gonzaga’s next game is Saturday at 5 p.m. when San Diego visits the Kennel. 

Gonzaga Bulldogs / YouTube

First half

15:47 – Gonzaga 13, SMC 5: Four Bulldogs have scored and GU leads by 8 at the first media timeout.

Joel Ayayi leads Gonzaga with five points. He hit a 3-pointer to open the scoring.

Corey Kispert has four points for the Zags, who are shooting 75%. Drew Timme and Jalen Suggs each have two points.

10:43 – Gonzaga 24, SMC 14: Zags lead by 10 behind eight points from Joel Ayayi.

Corey Kispert has added six points on 3-of-3 shooting for Gonzaga.

Saint Mary’s has six turnovers. Matthias Tass leads Saint Mary’s with seven points.

GU forward Anton Watson threw down a strong one-handed dunk after slipping a screen and taking a pass from Jalen Suggs.


Gonzaga 51, SMC 24: Corey Kispert scored 14 points and Joel Ayayi has 11 points and five rebounds and the No. 1 Bulldogs lead by 27.

Kispert shot 6-of-9 while Ayayi was 4 of 5, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range. Gonzaga shot 61.3%.

Matthias Tass led Saint Mary’s with nine points. Logan Johnson added six points.

Saint Mary’s shot just 36% and committed 12 turnovers, which Gonzaga turned into 14 points. The Gaels made 1 of 11 3-point attempts.

Drew Timme scored eight points for Gonzaga, but battled foul trouble and played 11 minutes, the low for a GU starter.

Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs had six points, two assists and two rebounds.

Second half

16:20 – Gonzaga 61, SMC 24: The Bulldogs open the second half with a 10-0 burst and the Geals call timeout.

Four Gonzaga players are in double-digit scoring. Corey Kispert has 14 points, Joel Ayayi 13 and Drew Timme and Andrew Nemhard each have 10.

Ayayi has six rebounds. Nembhard has five assists.

Saint Mary’s is 0-of-3 shooting in the half and has turned the ball over three times in less than four minutes.

Gonzaga is 4-of-5 shooting in the half.

7:48 – Gonzaga 31, SMC 16: Joel Ayayi has eight points and four rebounds to lead GU to a 15-point lead at the under-8 timeout.

Ayayi is 3-of-4 shooting, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range.

3:37 – Gonzaga 41, SMC 18: Zags riding a 17-4 run into the under-4 media timeout.

Joel Ayayi is continuing to fill up the stat sheet. The junior guard has 11 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes. He is 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

Corey Kispert has nine points and Drew Timme has six.

Matthias Tass leads Saint Mary’s with seven points. The Gaels have committed 10 turnovers.

11:48 – Gonzaga 69, SMC 35: Corey Kispert and the Zags continue to control the Gaels.

Kispert has 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

Gonzaga freshman Julian Strawther and Dominick Harris saw the floor for the first time tonight. Neither has taken a shot.

7:27 – Gonzaga 75, SMC 44: Corey Kispert has 20 points and the Bulldogs lead the Gaels by 31.

Joel has scored 13 points, Drew Timme has 12 and Andrew Nembhard 10.

Matthias Tass leads Saint Mary’s with 12 points. Logan Johnson added eight points.

3:03 – Gonzaga 80, SMC 58: The Gaels go on an 11-2 run and have cut the Zags’ lead to 22.

Logan Johnson has 13 points to lead Saint Mary’s. 

Gonzaga hasn’t scored in the last 1:38 while playing mostly backups.

Starting 5


Individual leaders

Gonzaga's Drew Timme drives inside against Saint Mary's in the first half of the 2020 WCC tournament title game last March.  (By Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga’s Drew Timme drives inside against Saint Mary’s in the first half of the 2020 WCC tournament title game last March. (By Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review) Buy this photo

Tommy Kushe (SMC) 14.1 42.4 83.1
Drew Timme (GU) 19.4 64.0 68.1
Kyle Bowen (SMC) 6.5 4.9 1.6
Drew Timme (GU) 7.3 4.9 2.4
Tommy Kushe (SMC) 5.4 2.1 35.9
Andrew Nembhard (GU) 4.5 1.3 27.8

Team stats

  Saint Mary’s Gonzaga
Points 66.4 93.1
Points allowed 61.8 69.3
Field goal pct. 43.3 55.1
Rebounds 35.1 38.6
Assists 11.1 19.3
Blocks 3.1 3.2
Steals 6.2 8.5
Streak Lost 1 Won 20

Game preview