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Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga rolls Eastern Oregon 123-57 in tuneup before Maui Invitational

Gonzaga guard Ryan Nembhard (0) and Eastern Oregon guard Malachi Afework (10) chase a loose ball during the first half of a NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, in the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

From staff reports

Gonzaga’s final tuneup before a slate of high-level tests at next week’s Maui Invitational went about as most expected it would.

The 11th-ranked Bulldogs piled up big numbers on the offensive end, setting a school record for made field goals (52), and pulled away from NAIA Eastern Oregon early for a 123-57 win at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The competition ramps up next week when Gonzaga (2-0) travels to Honolulu for three games in three days at the Maui Invitational, beginning Monday against reigning national player of the year Zach Edey and No. 2 Purdue.

Gonzaga used 11 players in the first half Tuesday night, predictably taking a conservative approach with its starting five – only one of whom, Ryan Nembhard, played more than 20 minutes.

The Bulldogs had three 20-point scorers in a game where they never trailed and led by as many as 68 points in the second half.

Graham Ike was the first player to reach the 20-point marker and the Wyoming transfer recorded his first double-double at Gonzaga, finishing with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Ike was 11 of 12 from the field and tied a career-high with a pair of 3-pointers.

Braden Huff, Gonzaga’s top scorer in Friday’s season opener against Yale, finished with 23 points in just 14 minutes on the floor, making 11 of 14 shots from the field while adding six rebounds.

Anton Watson added to a dominant performance from Gonzaga’s frontcourt, finishing with 20 points – three off his career-high – and six rebounds before coming out of the game with Ike early in the second half.

The Bulldogs finished the game with a whopping 84-18 advantage in the paint and outrebounded the Mountaineers 62-29.