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Gonzaga Basketball

Recap and highlights: No. 1 Gonzaga uses balanced attack to beat Pepperdine, 97-75

No. 1 Gonzaga had six scorers in double figures as it powered past host Pepperdine 97-75 for another West Coast Conference win at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, California, on Saturday.

Center Drew Timme led the way for the Bulldogs (17-0, 8-0 WCC) with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting.

Andrew Nembhard scored 17 points for GU. Corey Kispert provided 16 points, Aaron Cook had 15, Anton Watson added 12 and Joel Ayayi chipped-in 11.

Colbey Ross scored 16 points to lead Pepperdine (7-8, 3-3). Sedrick Altman added 14 points for the Waves and Kessler Edwards had 11.

After a fast start by Ross and the Waves, Gonzaga went on a 21-2 run midway through the half to take a 28-18 lead. Cook then scored the Zags next eight points to push the lead to 36-21.

The Bulldogs led 49-34 at halftime. The Waves wouldn’t get any closer after Timme scored the first four points of the second half.

Backup guards Cook and Nembhard saw plenty of minutes as Gonzaga’s starting point guard Jalen Suggs battled foul trouble all game.

Suggs played just eight minutes in the first after picking up two early fouls. He was then whistled for two fouls in six seconds in the early minutes of the second half that put him on the bench again. He then fouled out late in the game. The freshman from Minnesota played only 17 minutes, scoring four points and grabbing five rebounds.

With Suggs on the bench, Cook and Nembhard filled in exceptionally. Cook scored 12 points in the first half while Nembhard provided 11 in the second half. 

Gonzaga shot 59.7% in picking up its 41st straight win over the Waves, and 18th straight at Firestone.

Kispert and Nembhard each made three 3-pointers for the Zags. Nembhard also had a game-high eight assists.

Ayayi grabbed a game-best seven rebounds as GU held the rebounding edge 35-30.

Pepperdine shot 41.3%. Edwards, the Waves leading scorer at 18.3 points per game, was 5 of 12 from the field. Ross went 5 of 13 and also battled foul trouble. He finished with four fouls.

Gonzaga, behind Timme and Watson, outscored the Waves 52-26 in the paint.

The win makes Gonzaga coach Mark Few 45-2 against Pepperdine.

Gonzaga returns to action on Thursday when Loyola Marymount visits the Kennel in Spokane at 6 p.m.




First half

15:41 – Pepperdine 15, Gonzaga 7: Waves guard Colbey Ross has six points, giving him 2,000 for his career and Pepperdine is facing little resistance from Gonzaga’s defense.

The Waves are shooting 70% and have found success getting in to the lane with eight points in the paint.

Kessler Edwards has added five points for Pepperdine.

Corey Kispert has five points to pace Gonzaga.

11:33 – Pepperdine 16, Gonzaga 15: An 8-0 run over the last four minutes gets the Zags back within 1.

Pepperdine has missed their last five shots, while the Bulldogs have connected on five of their last six attempts.

7:46 – Gonzaga 28, Pepperdine 18: Corey Kispert has eight points and the Bulldogs have fought back from an early 9-point deficit to lead by 10.

The Zags are on a 21-2 run behind a 6:30 scoring drought from the Waves.

3:27 – Gonzaga 43, Pepperdine 28: Aaron Cook has 12 points for the Bulldogs after a productive series of possessions.

Cook scored eight consecutive Gonzaga points on a pair of 3-pointers and a fast-break dunk after a steal to give GU a 36-21 lead. The backup guard is 5-of-6 shooting.

Corey Kispert has added 11 points for the Zags. He is 3 of 5 from 3-point range.


Gonzaga 49, Pepperdine 34: The No. 1 Bulldogs have three scorers in double figures as they lead the Waves by 15.

Backup guard Aaron Cook has 12 points to lead GU. Corey Kispert has 11 points and Drew Timme has scored 10.

Kessler Edwards leads Pepperdine with nine points. Coleby Ross and Sedrick Altman have each added eight.

After a fast start by Ross and the Waves, Gonzaga went on a 21-2 run midway through the half to take a 28-18 lead. Cook then scored the Zags next eight points to push the lead to 36-21.

Gonzaga shot 62.1% from the field in the half. 

Both point guards, Pepperdine’s Ross and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, each picked up two fouls in the half. Ross still played 18 minutes, while Suggs was limited to eight.

Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard has six points and six assists off the bench.

Pepperdine shot 42.4%, but was just 2 of 9 from 3-point range.

Gonzaga went 5 of 13 from 3 in the half, with Kispert making three and Cook connecting on two.

Second half

15:21 – Gonzaga 60, Pepperdine 40: Drew Timme has six points in the first five minutes of the second half and Gonzaga leads by 20.

The Bulldogs center is 6-of-8 shooting in the game and has a game-high 16 points.

Sedrick Altman has 11 points to lead Pepperdine.

Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs had to take a seat on the bench after picking up two fouls in six seconds. The freshman has four fouls, two points and three rebounds.

11:55 – Gonzaga 68, Pepperdine 47: A pair of 3-pointers from Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard gives him 12 points and the Bulldogs have their largest lead of the game.

Pepperdine decided to double off Nembhard when the ball went into the post and the transfer from Florida made the Waves pay with two open, catch-and-shoot 3s. He also has a game-high seven assists.

Colbey Ross is up to 11 points for the Waves. The point guard is just 4-of-11 shooting and has three fouls. 

6:37 – Gonzaga 85, Pepperdine 58: The Bulldogs continue to balloon their lead behind a dominant Drew Timme.

The GU center has 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting. 

Andrew Nembhard has added 17 points for Gonzaga. Corey Kispert has scored 16 points and Aaron Cook has 15.

Nembhard has 11 points with three 3-pointers in the half. He also has eight assists.

Colbey Ross and Sedrick Altman each have 14 points to lead Pepperdine.

3:51 – Gonzaga 92, Pepperdine 62: The Bulldogs bring in three freshman as they look to see out the final four minutes in Malibu.

Dominick Harris, Julian Strawther and Ben Gregg are all on the court for the Zags. Harris and Gregg quickly picked up fouls on touch calls. Harris was called for hold on Pepperdine’s Colbey Ross and Gregg was whistled for an illegal screen moments before fellow freshman Jalen Suggs made a 3-pointer.

Starting 5


Individual leaders

Corey Kispert (GU) 20.5 58.4 89.4
Kessler Edwards (PU) 18.3 49.5 83.1
Joel Ayayi (GU) 7.3 5.4 1.8
Kessler Edwards (PU) 6.6 5.3 1.4
Jalen Suggs (GU) 4.8 3.0 26.9
Colbey Ross (PU) 7.4 3.8 36.8

Team stats

  Gonzaga Pepperdine
Points 94.1 76.1
Points allowed 70.1 73.4
Field goal pct. 55.0 44.9
Rebounds 39.8 35.5
Assists 20.1 16.8
Blocks 3.1 3.4
Steals 8.4 6.9
Streak Won 16 Won 1

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