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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Difference makers: Anton Watson, Malachi Smith deliver for Gonzaga during first-half scoring spree

Nov. 7, 2022 Updated Mon., Nov. 7, 2022 at 10:01 p.m.

ANTON WATSON

Making his return to the starting lineup, Watson proved to be a handful for North Florida’s smaller frontcourt, scoring Gonzaga’s first basket of the season and finishing with 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting in the first half. The Gonzaga Prep product didn’t score in the second half but finished with four rebounds, four assists and five steals. It was Watson’s first start since a Feb. 4 game against Pacific during the 2020-21 season.

MALACHI SMITH

The Chattanooga transfer guard wasted no time getting on the stat sheet in his Gonzaga debut. Smith checked in five minutes into the first half and immediately made an impact, pulling down offensive and defensive rebounds on consecutive possessions and slashing to the hoop for back-to-back layups that gave the Zags a 22-10 lead. The senior finished with 15 points on 7 of 10 shooting, led GU’s guards with six rebounds and had three assists.

Key moment

The Bulldogs eviscerated the Ospreys with a scoring run that has to rival some of the longest in recent memory. Gonzaga trailed 10-8 when Watson tied things up on a short jumper, then put the Bulldogs ahead when he converted a steal into an uncontested layup on the next possession. Over the course of eight minutes, 34 seconds, Gonzaga went on a 26-0 run to take a 34-10 lead, holding the Ospreys to 0 of 11 shooting during that stretch.

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