Corey Kispert scored 23 points and No. 1 Gonzaga used a strong first half to power past BYU, 86-69, Thursday night at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane.
Gonzaga zipped out to a 23-2 lead in just over seven minutes and led by 23 at halftime.
Point guard Jalen Suggs had 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals for Gonzaga (11-0, 2-0 West Coast Conference). Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard each added 12 points.
Matt Haarms and Caleb Lohner scored 13 points each to pace BYU (9-3, 0-1). Cougars’ leading scorer Alex Barcello (16.9 points per game) was held to nine points on 3-of-11 shooting.
Gonzaga built its big halftime lead by forcing BYU into 11 turnovers in the first half. The Cougars finished with 16 turnovers, which the Zags converted into 25 points. BYU scored just seven points off of eight GU turnovers.
Gonzaga led by as many as 32 midway through the second half.
BYU closed the game on a 13-2 run to tighten up the final margin.
Gonzaga plays next on Saturday at Portland. Tip is scheduled for 5.
Gonzaga Bulldogs / YouTube
15:37 – Gonzaga 16, BYU 2: Drew Timme has six points, Corey Kispert has five and the Bulldogs have powered to an early 14-point lead.
The Zags scored the first eight points of the game and then ripped off another 8-0 run before BYU called timeout.
Gonzaga is 7-of-9 shooting.
BYU has turned the ball over five times, which GU has converted into eight points.
10:43 – Gonzaga 30, BYU 7: The Zags continue to pull away from the Cougars behind some sharp shooting.
Gonzaga is shooting 66.7% (12 of 18) and has made three 3-pointers. Corey Kispert leads the Zags with nine points. Andrew Nembhard has six points on 2-of-2 shooting from 3.
Spencer Johnson leads BYU with three points.
7:16 – Gonzaga 34, BYU 16: Cougars big man Matt Haarms has found some success inside as BYU has pulled back to within 20 of the Zags.
Haarms has a team-high seven points on 2-of-2 shooting and 3 of 3 from the free throw line.
Gonzaga has made just one of its last four shots.
Gonzaga center Drew Timme picked up his second foul. He has eight points and two rebounds.
4:00 – Gonzaga 39, BYU 26: A 7-0 run by the Cougars leads to Gonzaga calling its first timeout of the game.
Matt Haarms leads BYU with seven points.
Corey Kispert and Andrew Nembhard each have nine points to pace the Zags. Nembhard is 3 of 3 on 3-pointers.
Gonzaga 52, BYU 29: Corey Kispert has 11 points and the Bulldogs used two big runs to take a 23-point lead over the Cougars into halftime.
Gonzaga opened the game with a 16-2 run and then, after BYU had trimmed a 23-point lead to 13, pulled away with a 13-0 run at the end of the half.
Andrew Nembhard has added nine points for Gonzaga on 3-of-3 shooting from 3-point range. Jalen Suggs, Joel Ayayi and Drew Timme have each chipped in eight points.
Matt Haarms leads BYU with seven points, but the big man has been dealing with a sore left knee. Cougars leading scorer Alex Barcello has just two points on 1-of-5 shooting.
BYU turned the ball over 11 times in the half, which Gonzaga turned into 15 points. The Zags also hold a 14-0 edge in fast-break points.
Gonzaga shot 54.5% from the field and 50% from 3. BYU made only 33.3% of its shots and just 25% from 3.
Suggs, the Zags freshman point guard, leads the team with four rebounds. He also has three assists and two steals.
Timme played just eight minutes as he sat out the rest of the first half after picking up his second foul.
15:56 – Gonzaga 62, BYU 40: Both teams come out of the break shooting well.
Gonzaga has made 5 of 6 shots and BYU is 5 of 8.
Corey Kispert leads Gonzaga with 15 points.
Caleb Lohner has four points in the half and leads BYU with 10.
10:36 – Gonzaga 75, BYU 45: Corey Kispert has 21 points and the Zags have pushed their lead to 30 points.
Andrew Nembhard and Jalen Suggs have 12 points each and Drew Timme has added 10 for Gonzaga. Nembhard has made four 3-pointers.
7:25 – Gonzaga 75, BYU 50: The Cougars cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 25 with a 7-0 run.
After Gonzaga built its largest lead of the game, BYU made the run behind five points from Gideon George.
George and Caleb Lohner have 11 points each to lead BYU.
Gonzaga has made just one of its last 11 shots and hasn’t scored in 4:09.
3:25 – Gonzaga 83, BYU 57: Corey Kispert has a game-high 23 points and the Zags take a 26-point lead into the final three minutes of the game.
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