Corey Kispert scored 26 points and No. 1 Gonzaga powered past San Francisco 85-62 on Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane.
USF held tough with the Zags in the first half, trailing by just three with over a minute left in the half. But a 14-0 run from Gonzaga sandwiched around halftime and poor shooting by the Dons in the second half helped GU run away in its West Coast Conference opener.
Joel Ayayi added 18 points and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga. Andrew Nembhard chipped in 14 points in 28 minutes off the bench and Drew Timme had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Jamaree Bouyea led USF with 18 points, but didn’t score in the final 15 minutes.
The Dons shot 7 of 28 in the second half. With 8 minutes left they had made just three field goals in the half and trailed by 20.
USF went 8 of 23 from 3-point range in the game. GU made just 5 of 15.
Kispert made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the first half and give Gonzaga a 47-37 lead at the break.
The Bulldogs came roaring out in the second half, scoring the first seven points.
Gonzaga (10-0, 1-0 WCC) point guard Jalen Suggs made his return to the lineup after missing the last two games with a right leg injury. He dealt with foul trouble most of the game and ended up fouling out with five points, three rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes.
Dzmitry Ryuny was the only other USF (7-5, 1-1) player in double digits scoring. He had 11 points.
Gonzaga found success in transition – outscoring USF 23-7 in fast-break points – and inside – taking the edge in paint points 44-24.
The Zags next play on Thursday when they host Santa Clara in the Kennel. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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15:32 – Gonzaga 8, USF 5: Slow offense starts for both teams as they’ve dealt with early turnover trouble.
Four players have scored two points for Gonzaga.
Khalil Shabazz leads the Dons with three points on a made 3-pointer.
Both teams have two turnovers. Anton Watson committed both of the Zags turnovers.
11:09 – Gonzaga 23, USF 16: The Bulldogs ride a 10-2 run into the under-12 timeout and hold a 6-point lead over the Dons.
Jamaree Bouyea hit a 3-point for USF that gave the Dons a 14-13 lead.
Joel Ayayi answered on Gonzaga’s next possession with a 3 of his own to start the Bulldogs’ run.
Andrew Nembhard leads Gonzaga with eight points. He has 2-of-2 from 3-point range, but was assessed a technical foul after hitting his first and saying something to the Dons’ bench.
Bouyea has seven points to lead USF.
7:46 – Gonzaga 28, USF 25: The Dons trim the lead to 3 behind 11 points from Jamaree Bouyea.
Bouyea is 5-of-6 shooting and the Zags are having trouble keeping the guard out of the lane.
Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs picked up his third foul and will most likely spend the rest of the half on the bench.
Corey Kispert leads GU with 11 points.
4:07 – Gonzaga 36, USF 29: Corey Kispert has 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting to pace the Zags, who have started to make stops on defense.
The Dons haven’t scored in 2:11.
Jamaree Bouyea continues to lead the Dons with 11 points. He and Kispert have played all 16 minutes.
Gonzaga 47, USF 37: Corey Kispert has 18 points and the Bulldogs hold a 10-point lead over the Dons heading into halftime in the Kennel.
Kispert made a long 3-pointer as time expired in the first half to cap a 7-0 run and give the Zags the double-digit edge. The senior from Edmonds, Washington, is 7-of-8 shooting.
Jamaree Bouyea leads San Francisco with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Both teams are shooting well, with Gonzaga at 58.1% and USF at 53.8%.
San Francisco has made 66.7% of its 3-pointers, but has only attempted only six as the Zags have done a good job switching screens to run the USF shooters off the 3-point line.
Andrew Nembhard has 12 points for Gonzaga. The guard from Canada played 16 minutes off the bench in the half as the Zags went small early before he filled in at the point later after starter Jalen Suggs picked up his third foul.
Joel Ayayi added 11 points for GU.
Gonzaga holds a 16-11 rebounding edge behind a game-high six from center Drew Timme.
Timme hasn’t shot the ball well, 2 of 6, and has just four points.
17:03 – Gonzaga 54, USF 37: The Zags open the second half on a 7-0 run and the Dons call their second timeout.
USF is 0-of-4 shooting in the half, while the Zags have attacked the basket.
Gonzaga came out of halftime focused on getting Drew Timme going by feeding the center the ball on the block the first two possessions. He scored the first three points of the half. He later pulled down a defensive rebound and dribbled up the floor to feed Andrew Nembhard for a reverse layup.
15:21 – Gonzaga 57, USF 42: Bulldogs point guard Jalen Suggs picked up his first points of the game with a 3-point play.
Suggs picked up three fouls in the first half and only played nine minutes.
Jamaree Bouyea scored for USF and has a team-high 18 points.
Corey Kispert leads GU with 20 points.
11:59 – Gonzaga 65, USF 45: All Bulldogs in the second half as they stretch their lead to 20.
The Zags have held USF to 23.1% shooting in the half. The Dons have already attempted nine 3-pointers this half, making just two.
Corey Kispert leads Gonzaga with 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting.
Gonzaga is already in the bonus as USF has been whistled for eight fouls. The Bulldogs have just one foul.
7:37 – Gonzaga 75, USF 48: The Dons shooting woes continue in the second half.
USF is shooting 18.8% from the field and 18.2% from 3-point range. The Dons have made just three field goals in over 12 minutes of the second half.
Drew Timme made a 3-pointer and has 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Zags.
3:28 – Gonzaga 80, USF 55: Four Bulldogs have 10-plus points and it has been all GU in the second half.
Corey Kispert has scored 24 points, Joel Ayayi has 18, Andrew Nembhard has 14 and Drew Timme has 10.
Timme has 11 rebounds and Ayayi has 10.
All four players nights should be close to finished as the Zags see this one out.
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