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Gonzaga Basketball

Recap and highlights: Gonzaga keeps rolling with wire-to-wire rout of Portland 86-65

From staff reports

PORTLAND – The latest victory in Gonzaga’s five-game winning streak looked a lot like the first four.

Junior post Graham Ike controlled the paint and led the team in scoring with 20 points, his fourth consecutive game with at least 20. The starting five all posted solid numbers, including Nolan Hickman’s four 3-pointers and 19 points, and Ben Gregg, a standout at Clackamas High about 20 miles from Portland, added three 3s and 13 points.

The offense, averaging 94.5 points in the previous four games, kept on rolling. The defense was strong in the first half as Gonzaga built a comfortable lead. The Bulldogs dominated on the boards (50-29) and paint points (48-28).

Gonzaga never trailed and led by double figures most of the way while handling Portland 86-65 Thursday at the Chiles Center.

The Zags (21-6, 11-2 West Coast Conference) maintained their hold on second place, two games behind Saint Mary’s. Santa Clara visits GU on Saturday night. Portland (9-20, 3-11) has lost five in a row. Tyler Robertson led the Pilots with 18 points.

Gonzaga raced in front 11-3 and led by double digits, 16-5, after six minutes. The margin reached 16 on Gregg’s third three of the half but Portland closed within 43-30 at the break.

Gonzaga, which hit 10 of its first 13 shots in the second half, stretched the lead to 19 on Hickman’s 3-pointer with 11:46 remaining. Portland pulled within 14 but two field goals by Watson and another by Ike pushed Gonzaga’s lead to 20 with 2:58, sending many fans toward the exits.

Ike equaled his season high with 14 rebounds.

The Zags have won 18 straight in the series. GU coach Mark Few improved his record to 45-2 against Portland.

BOX SCORE

First half

18:44 – GU 4, UP 3: Hickman drives the first two possessions with an ally-oop to Ike and a jumper. Portland’s Robertson answers with a 3-pointer.

15:11 – GU 10, UP 3: Zags in control at the first media timeout, after Watson is called for a charge. GU has a 8-3 rebound advantage and has held the Pilots to 1 of 7 shooting.

Gregg leads GU with five points.

11:34 – GU 20, UP 10: Hickman hits a runner off the glass and draws a foul at the U12 media timeout. Solid start for the Zags guard, he has six points, behind Gregg with eight.

Robertson hit two 3-pointers for the Pilots. He leads UP with six points.

7:18 – GU 30, UP 17: Huff is fouled at the U8 media timeout and will shoot free throws when play resumes.

Gregg having himself a night in his hometown, leading GU with 11 points and three 3-pointers. All Zags in the early going.

4:23 – GU 36, UP 22: Zags get out in transition with back-to-back layups from Ike and Watson. Portland calls a timeout. 

2:00 – GU 40, UP 28: Ike is called for a foul in transition. Gorosito hits both bonus free throws.

0:34 – GU 43, UP 28: Hickman hits a 3-pointer to reach 10 points in the half and Ike gets a block on the other end. GU calls a timeout with the half winding down.

Halftime

Gonzaga turned the ball over out of a timeout and Portland hit a layup to cut the halftime deficit to 43-30 at the Chiles Center in Portland.

The Bulldogs are still in control though, having led the entire half. Ben Gregg leads with 13 points, while Nolan Hickman adds 10. GU shot 53% from the field and 4 of 12 on 3-pointers.

The Zags also outrebounded Portland 25-15.

Second half

16:01 – GU 54, UP 39: Gorosito is called for an offensive foul at the U16 media timeout. Pretty even start to the second half.

Ike up to a team-high 14 points with eight rebounds. Gregg and Hickman join him in double figures with 13 points apiece.

11:45 – GU 67, UP 48: Hickman knocks down his third 3-pointer of the game at the U12 media timeout. He has a team-high 16 points.

Zags closing in on their first 20-point lead of the game. GU has led all the way.

7:52 – GU 69, UP 55: Zags on a 2:40 scoring drought, but still in control of this one. Former EWU player Robertson has been stellar for Portland. He has 18 points and made 5 of 7 3-point attempts.

0:41 – GU 84, UP 62: Gonzaga cruises to another win behind Ike’s 20 points. Hickman adds 19 and Watson and Gregg score 13 apiece.

Starting 5: No surprises as Zags start with Nembhard, Hickman, Ike, Watson and Gregg. Portland lines up Masic (13.0 ppg), Robertson (16.1), Gorosito (7.7), Harris (12.1) and Dengdit (5.7).

Pregame

Gonzaga has one more game against the bottom of the West Coast Conference before a three-game stretch against its best.

The Bulldogs (20-6, 10-2 WCC) can’t afford to look ahead yet. GU travels to play the Portland Pilots (9-19, 3-10) tonight at 6 p.m. on KHQ and Root Sports Plus.

After that, Gonzaga closes the regular season against Santa Clara, San Francisco and Saint Mary’s, which along with GU make up the top of the WCC.

The Zags blasted Portland 96-64 at home on Feb. 7, piling up a season-high 15 3-pointers. 

The Pilots strategy under head coach Shantay Legans has been to allow Gonzaga to take 3s at a high rate. That hasn’t worked as planned, at least not yet.

Portland will aim to snap a four-game losing streak tonight. Gonzaga has won four straight since a narrow loss to Saint Mary’s on Feb. 3.

Series history

Gonzaga holds a 98-48 all-time record over Portland and have won the last 17 meetings. The Zags have won 16-straight by double figures.

Team stats

Individual leaders

Game preview

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