The sixth-year senior point guard won’t be forgetting his final game in Moraga, California, anytime soon. Kuhse scored the game’s first points with an early layup and was quickly up to eight points, on 4-of-4 shooting from the field, when he converted another shot at the rim to boost Saint Mary’s to a 17-10 lead at the 12:25 mark. Kuhse, who scored 16 points in the first meeting with Gonzaga, finished with 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and had six rebounds to go with four assists. The Mesa, Arizona, native also had five turnovers while playing all 40 minutes.
It wasn’t enough, but Bolton did his best to give the Bulldogs a chance in the second half, scoring 10 points after halftime to lead Gonzaga with 16 for the game. The Iowa State transfer guard had the first five GU points in the second half, scoring on a layup and 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 10 points before converting a three-points play that made it 55-47 with 6:29 to play. Bolton finished 5 of 10 from the field, was 3 of 4 from the free-throw line and also had three rebounds.
Gonzaga fell into a hole early and continued to bury itself with missed shots, turnovers and blown defensive coverages. Meanwhile, Saint Mary’s, led by Kuhse’s crafty dribbling and shot-making, took command with an 8-0 lead and quickly went up 12-3 with Kuhse making three of the Gaels’ first five shots. Gonzaga, which had 23 points after 4 minutes of Thursday’s game at San Francisco, didn’t reach that total by halftime on Saturday, scoring just 21 points on 9-of-29 shooting from the field with eight turnovers.
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