Joel Ayayi took advantage of his first start, scoring 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. The 6-foot-5 guard hit a pair of 3-pointers and added nine rebounds and five assists. Ayayi was particularly effective in transition, finishing on the break or finding teammates for baskets.
Ryan Woolridge kept TSU leading scorer Tyrik Armstrong in check, limiting the senior point guard to three points in the first half. Armstrong sat for a large portion of the first half after picking up two fouls, but he didn’t have much luck when he was on the floor. He was still at three points when the Zags’ lead reached 32 early in the second half. Armstrong then heated up with three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points.
Texas Southern scored six straight points to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 25-21, but the Zags responded with a 26-6 burst that left the Tigers in a 51-27 hole. Killian Tillie and Ayayi each hit 3-pointers and Gonzaga got its running game rolling during the stretch, capitalizing on TSU turnovers and missed shots.
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