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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Recap and highlights: Joel Ayayi has triple-double, No. 1 Gonzaga thumps Portland

UPDATED: Sat., Jan. 9, 2021

Joel Ayayi had 12 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds to lead No. 1 Gonzaga past host Portland 116-88 at Chiles Center on Saturday.

Ayayi recorded the first triple-double in program history.

Drew Timme led the Bulldogs with 26 points as seven Zags reached double-digit scoring.

Sophmore forward Anton Watson had a career-high 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting for Gonzaga (12-0, 3-0 West Coast Conference). Corey Kispert had 14 points, but had an off-night shooting the ball, going just 2 of 7 from 3-point range. Freshman Julian Strawther had 12 points in eight minutes and classmate Jalen Suggs had 11 points while playing through foul trouble. Andrew Nembhard had 10 points and five assists.

Ahmed Ali led Portland with 19 points. The Pilots tried their luck from 3-point range to stick with the top-ranked Zags and finished 13 of 27 from 3. Ali was 3 of 7.

Gonzaga went just 4 of 17 from 3, but shot 62.9% from the floor behind the dominant inside presences of Ayayi, Timme and Watson. The Bulldogs outscored the Pilots 80-26 in the paint and had 42-27 rebounding edge.

Zach Triplett added 13 points for the Pilots (6-5, 0-2). Michael Henn had 12 points and Latrell Jones and Clythus Griffith, Jr., each added 11.

The Zags next play on Thursday in the Kennel against Pepperdine. The game is set for 2 p.m. on ESPN2.

First half

15:45 – Gonzaga 9, Portland 8: Drew Timme has six points as the Zags have made it a priority to feed their center early.

Timme is 3-of-4 shooting and has been found twice by Corey Kispert on pick-and-rolls.

Ahmed Ali leads Portland with five points. The WSU transfer made a long 3-pointer to pull the Pilots within one.

11:31 – Gonzaga 23, Portland 16: The Bulldogs have made six of their last eight shots and hold a 7-point lead at the under-12 timeout.

Drew Timme and Joel Ayayi each have six points for GU, though Timme has missed his last two shots.

Ahmed Ali has eight points on 3-of-4 shooting for the Pilots. He has made two 3-pointers.

The Zags hold a 20-4 advantage on points in the paint.

7:41 – Gonzaga 31, Portland 18: Gonzaga has forced seven turnovers and has a double-digit lead over the Pilots.

The Zags have forced four turnovers in the last 4:08 as they’ve gone on a 10-2 run.

Joel Ayayi leads GU with eight points.

Freshman center Oumar Ballo gave starter Drew Timme a break and helped continue the Zags’ dominance inside. Ballo has four points.

3:50 – Gonzaga 41, Portland 25: Drew Timme has 10 points and the Zags have made their free throws count as they’ve built a big lead on the Pilots.

Gonzaga is 11 of 13 from the free-throw line. Portland is just 1 of 1. 

Gonzaga also has a 30-10 edge in paint points.

Halftime

Gonzaga 56, Portland 35: Drew Timme has 19 points and the Zags have dominated inside on their way to a 21-point halftime lead.

Joel Ayayi has 12 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists for Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs have outscored the Pilots by 28 – 42-14 – in the paint and hold a 23-11 edge in rebounds.

Ahmed Ali has 16 points to lead Portland. The transfer guard from WSU has made 3 of 4 3-pointers.

Anton Watson has added eight points for Gonzaga. The sophomore forward out of Gonzaga Prep is 4 of 4 from the free-throw line. The Zags are 14 of 16 from the line. Portland is 4 of 4.

GU’s leading scorer Corey Kispert (21.7 points per game) has just four points on 2-of-7 shooting. He does have four rebounds and three assists.

Freshman point guard Jalen Suggs has three points, two rebounds, two assists and two fouls for the Bulldogs.

Second half

16:23 – Gonzaga 69, Portland 41: Joel Ayayi has recorded the first triple-double in Gonzaga history as the Bulldogs continue to roll in Portland.

Ayayi assisted on Andrew Nembhard’s layup for his 10th assist of the game. Ayayi also has 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Drew Timme leads the Zags with 21 points.

Ahmed Ali has 16 points to lead Portland.  

11:35 – Gonzaga 86, Portland 50: The Bulldogs have doubled up the Pilots in the second half, 30-15.

Freshman Julian Strawther checked in for the Zags for the first time and has six points in three minutes. 

GU is on a 6-0 run, making four of its last four shots.

Portland has made just one of its last seven shots.

Drew Timme leads Gonzaga with 24 points. Anton Watson has 16 points and Corey Kispert is into double-digits with 11.

7:36 – Gonzaga 92, Portland 70: The Zags getting some minutes for their freshmen, as guard Dominick Harris has checked in.

Harris has played four minutes and has a foul. Fellow freshman Julian Strawther has eight points in seven minutes and freshman center Oumar Ballo has four points in nine minutes.

3:28 – Gonzaga 108, Portland 79: Gonzaga has six players in double-figures scoring and have passed 100 points for the third time this season.

All the starters and Andrew Nembhard have 10-plus points for the Zags. Drew Timme leads the way with 26 points.

Portland has shot 50% (13 of 26) from 3-point range in the game. 

Starting 5

Pregame

Individual leaders

POINTS PPG FG% FT%
Corey Kispert (GU) 21.7 62.6 86.5
Ahmed Ali (UP) 18.4 47.4 84.1
REBOUNDS RPG DRPG ORPG
Joel Ayayi (GU) 7.6 5.7 1.9
Eddie Davis (UP) 5.2 4.3 0.9
ASSISTS APG TOPG MPG
Jalen Suggs (GU) 5.3 2.7 27.0
Ahmed Ali (UP) 3.0 2.9 29.9

Team stats

  Gonzaga Portland
Points 94.3 72.5
Points allowed 72.1 77.0
Field goal pct. 54.8 41.4
Rebounds 39.2 33.9
Assists 20.5 10.7
Blocks 2.8 3.1
Steals 8.7 7.4
Streak Won 11 Lost 2

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