Watson was big for Gonzaga at both ends of the court. He was solid defensively on 2022 player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe, who still put up strong stats (20 points, 15 rebounds). Watson battled inside for position, forced numerous turnovers and played a major role in Gonzaga’s 39-29 rebounding edge. Watson also had a memorable drive and dunk in the first half and finished with 10 points and 10 boards.
Strawther, who was battling a high ankle injury, had his best performance of the young season. He delivered 20 points, three 3-pointers, 7 of 7 at the free-throw line and a career-high 14 rebounds. He played 39 minutes and 51 seconds.
The Zags responded to Kentucky’s repeated rallies in the second half. The biggest response came with a 12-5 run that extended Gonzaga’s lead to 68-55 with 8:48 left. Drew Timme scored the first five points, Anton Watson had a putback dunk and Strawther added the final five points, including a three-point play that capped the spurt.
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