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Gonzaga Basketball

Recap and highlights: Gonzaga’s seniors lead the way in 104-65 rout of Chicago State

From staff reports

This night was all about the seniors.

Gonzaga honored Drew Timme, Anton Watson, Rasir Bolton and Malachi Smith for senior night Wednesday. All four were featured in the starting lineup, and all four raced to double digit scoring to lead a 104-65 rout of Chicago State at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The 10th-ranked Bulldogs (26-5) closed their regular season against a nonconference foe, comfortably tuning-up for the West Coast Conference tournament next week in Las Vegas.

Timme scored a team-high 17 points. He is 21 away from breaking Frank Burgess’ record for career points in a Gonzaga uniform.

Bolton added 15, going 4-for-7 on 3-pointers. He scored 13 points in the first half, including a deep 3 with seconds remaining before halftime.

Watson shined on both ends of the floor. He was named an honorable mention for the All-WCC team earlier in the day, though that nomination came at his teammates’ dismay. They were adamant on Twitter Watson should have been the defensive player of the year.

Watson scored 10 points, to go along with seven assist, four steals and two blocks.

Smith added 14 points and nine rebounds. Nolan Hickman (15 points), Julian Strawther (11) and Ben Gregg (10) also scored double figures.

The Bulldogs will be the No. 2 seed in the WCC tournament. They play on Monday at 8:30 p.m. against the winner of the quarterfinal between Santa Clara and an opponent yet to be determined.

BOX SCORE

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First half

Senior introductions: Drew Timme, Anton Watson, Rasir Bolton and Malachi Smith being honored for senior night.

15:38 – GU 12, CSU 8: Not much defense at the first media timeout, as GU makes 5 of their first 7 attempts and the Cougars make a pair of 3-pointers.

Chicago State won’t go without a lead tonight, going ahead 3-2 and 6-5 in the early going. Gonzaga is comfortable though, getting inside shots at will and going ahead on a pair of 3-pointers by Bolton.

Bolton leads with six, Watson has four and Timme has two – 37 points from setting the program’s scoring record.

11:44 – GU 22, CSU 11: Zags on a 15-3 run, 9-0 over the last 1:26. 

Sallis makes one of the plays of GU’s season, stealing the ball in the backcourt and breaking away for a one-handed dunk. Seven Bulldogs have scored at the U12 media timeout. 

7:57 – GU 27, CSU 13: Bulldogs in control at the U8 media timeout.

Bolton leads with seven points, Watson adds six. CSU on a 2:18 minute scoring drought.

5:36 – GU 33, CSU 13: Gonzaga on a 11-0 run as Chicago State calls a timeout.

3:38 – GU 37, CSU 19: Cougars snap their scoring drought, still well behind at the U4 media timeout.

Bolton leads with 10 points, while Timme adds seven. Eight different Bulldogs have scored.

Halftime

Rasir Bolton snapped Gonzaga’s scoring drought to end the half with a deep 3-pointer to give the Zags a 42-28 lead at halftime.

Bolton leads with 13 points and is 4-for-5 on 3s.

Frank Burgess’ scoring record seems to be safe for another night, with Drew Timme at nine points – 30 points from taking over the top spot on GU’s scoring list.

Chicago State only scored two points during a 10-minute stretch in the half, allowing the Zags to build a 20 point lead. The Cougars went on a 15-6 run before Bolton’s 3-pointer to end the half.

Second half

17:39 – GU 53, CSU 29: Three straight steals by Watson, followed by a block from Timme sparks an 11-0 run out of halftime.

Watson finishes off Timme’s block with an ally-oop pass to Strawther, who throws down a dunk. The Cougars call a timeout.

Watson has eight points, five assists, four steals, two rebounds and a block.

14:22 – GU 64, CSU 37: Smith makes a 3-pointer and Gonzaga continues to roll.

Fittingly, all four seniors are in double figures for GU. Bolton has 15 points, Timme has 13 and Watson and Smith add 10 apiece.

8:32 – GU 83, CSU 45: Hickman makes six Zags in double figures, as he knocks down his fourth 3-pointer. Zags’ bench should get some run in the final minutes.

3:39 – GU 95, CSU 57: Few leaving a couple starters and key role players on the floor up to the U4 media timeout.

Pregame

Gonzaga will honor its seniors tonight in a home regular-season finale against Chicago State – one of the country’s two Division I basketball independents.

One of those seniors, Drew Timme, has a chance to chase history if given free reign from coach Mark Few.

Timme, along with Anton Watson, Rasir Bolton and Malachi Smith will be honored tonight at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. with the broadcast on KHQ and Root Sports+.

Timme is 38 points behind Frank Burgess for Gonzaga’s all-time scoring leader. He has reached that mark once before, when he scored 38 against Pacific on Jan. 21.

If given the opportunity, he could reach that mark against the Cougars, who are ranked No. 285 in the NCAA’s NET rankings and No. 278 by kenpom.com.

Gonzaga is a 28-point favorite.

Series history

Gonzaga and Chicago State played twice in back-to-back seasons from 1997-98. The Bulldogs won each of those games by 46 points.

Game preview

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