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Gonzaga Basketball

Difference makers: Graham Ike turns in big second half to help Gonzaga hold off Will Johnston, LMU

Graham Ike

Twenty-point outings are starting to become routine for Gonzaga’s junior forward, as are huge second halves. After scoring just seven points in the first half, Ike was Gonzaga’s most reliable offensive option in the second, adding 16 to finish with a team-high 23 points. Ike finished 11 of 19 from the field and had four rebounds to go with two assists and two blocked shots. The Wyoming transfer has scored at least 20 points in nine of the team’s past 14 games. All five GU starters finished in double figures and Ike was one of two 20-point scorers , along with Nolan Hickman (22 points).

Will Johnston

Johnston spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to get on the scoresheet when these teams met on Jan. 30 in Spokane but was unsuccessful, finishing 0 for 5 from the field with zero points. The rematch against the Zags went much better for the junior guard. Johnston opened with 22 points in the first half and tacked on 11 in the second to finish with 33. Johnston, who hit the 30-point mark in two games last season while playing at Texas-Rio Grande Valley, finished 12 of 21 from the field and 7 of 11 from the 3-point line, but was held scoreless through the final 7 minutes.

Turning point

The Zags had an 11-0 run early in the second half but needed to manufacture another one down the stretch to put the Lions away. After Justin Wright’s layup trimmed Gonzaga’s lead to 72-71 with 8 minutes, 21 seconds remaining, LMU didn’t score for another 6:26 and the Bulldogs scored 15 straight points to extend their lead to a game-high 16 points at 87-71. During the spurt, all five Gonzaga starters scored and Anton Watson came up with a series of big plays on defense, blocking LMU shots on consecutive possessions.