Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Drew Timme returns to form, pours in 25 points to lead Gonzaga past Saint Mary’s 74-58

Feb. 12, 2022 Updated Sat., Feb. 12, 2022 at 10:43 p.m.

Drew was due.

Gonzaga’s Drew Timme hadn’t been Timme-like in the past five games with eight, 16, 13, 13 and 13 points – all below his season average of 18.4 – but the junior forward always seems to shine against Saint Mary’s. That was the case again Saturday night in a matchup of the West Coast Conference’s top two teams.

Timme struck for 15 first-half points and finished with 25 as the second-ranked Zags handled No. 22 Saint Mary’s 74-58 in front of 6,000 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

“Felt awesome,” Timme said. “Guys like Andy (Nembhard) and everyone just giving me ball where I wanted it, just in easy spots so I could get right to my stuff. I just got my swagger and confidence back.”

Gonzaga (21-2, 10-0 WCC) won its 31st consecutive conference game and the past 28 by double figures, but the Gaels kept it interesting throughout. Gonzaga finished with an 8-0 run in the last 3 minutes. The 16-point margin matched San Francisco (78-62) as the Zags’ closest game in conference.

The Zags likely will return to the top spot in Monday’s AP poll. Saint Mary’s (20-6, 8-3) dropped three games behind Gonzaga in the standings. The Gaels went 1-2 in a busy week and will almost certainly fall out of the Top 25. They’re 0-7 against Gonzaga when both teams are ranked.

Timme began to regain his shooting rhythm in Thursday’s rout over Pacific.

“The better I play, the more fun I have,” said Timme, who has gone against Saint Mary’s center Matthias Tass the past three seasons. “He’s a great guy, a great competitor. We have a lot of fun going against each other.”

Timme made 11 of 16 shots and added eight rebounds and five assists, one shy of his career high.

“Drew just got back to being Drew,” coach Mark Few said after Gonzaga’s seventh straight win over Saint Mary’s. “He’s not going to go 13 out of 15 every game, even though sometimes we think he is because we’re so used to it. We definitely needed every one of his shots tonight.”

It had to be deflating for Saint Mary’s, which checked off several important items on its to-do list in the first 10 minutes. The Gaels worked the shot clock, didn’t turn it over much and, for the most part, limited Gonzaga’s transition opportunities.

That still wasn’t enough to stop the Zags from doing what they’ve been doing to nearly every WCC opponent, even if the pace wasn’t nearly as fast in the first half as Gonzaga’s typical operating speed.

The Gaels led 12-11 with 11:40 left before Gonzaga began to take control. Timme was in the middle of it, finishing with his left hand to put GU up 13-12 before adding a putback.

Timme hit a 3-pointer – the first by either team – with 6:55 remaining to boost Gonzaga’s lead to six.

Gonzaga closed the half by outscoring Saint Mary’s 14-7 to take a 36-23 lead into the locker room. Timme added two more buckets – another layup was erased by a traveling call that left Few covering his head in anguish – and assisted on a Rasir Bolton basket.

The second half started roughly the same way as the final 10 minutes of the first half. Gonzaga wing Julian Strawther contested Logan Johnson’s shot, who missed from close range, and Timme had a three-point play on the low block.

Gonzaga pushed its lead to 51-30, but the Gaels kept battling and never strayed from their patient approach, thanks to the efforts of senior point guard Tommy Kuhse and forward Alex Ducas.

Saint Mary’s closed within 65-56 on Tass’ midrange jumper with 4:20 remaining. Strawther hit two 3-pointers and Nembhard drove inside for a layup as the Zags pulled away.

“Those 3s by Julian were obviously huge,” Few said. “Randy (Bennett, Saint Mary’s coach) has done a wonderful job with this team. They are tough, hard-nosed, hard to score on, run offense with a purpose. All those guys that played last year have gotten so much better.

“They didn’t quit when we had them down 21.”

Nembhard filled the stat sheet with 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. He didn’t have a turnover in 36-plus minutes.

Chet Holmgren finished with a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds and Strawther added 11 points.

Holmgren’s interior defense and Timme’s post moves helped Gonzaga to a 44-32 advantage in paint points.

Kuhse scored 16 points and handed out five assists. Tass had 14 points but was just 6 of 15 from the field. Ducas scored all 12 of his points in the second half.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Follow along with the Zags

Subscribe to our Gonzaga Basketball newsletter to stay up with the latest news.