NEXT GAME: Saturday, Dec. 21: Eastern Washington Eagles at Gonzaga Bulldogs, 2 p.m. PST TV: KHQ/ROOT Sports
Corey Kispert scored 26 points, Filip Petrusev added 20 and the No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 94-81 on Wednesday night at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane.
Kispert got going early and stayed hot all night, shooting 10 of 12 from the field and 5 of 6 from 3-point range.
Bulldogs guard Joel Ayayi had 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Ryan Woolridge and Admon Gilder also added 11 points for Gonzaga. Woolridge had a team-high nine assists as well.
Garrison Brooks scored 16 points to lead North Carolina. Christian Keeling chipped in 12 points and Jeremiah Francis added 11.
Kispert made 2 of his first 3 shots as the Bulldogs jumped out in front in the opening minutes. After the Tar Heels took the lead midway through the first half, Kispert connected on a corner 3 to give GU the lead back and then, about three minutes later, he hit a transition 3 to push the Zags’ lead to 11.
The junior from Edmonds, Washington, also had a run of seven points in four minutes as the GU lead grew to 20 in the middle of the second half.
Gonzaga shot 59.3% from the field and made 9-of-18 3-pointers. North Carolina finished at 45.6% shooting.
The Bulldogs found success in transition. GU scored 23 points on the fast break compared to 14 for UNC.
The Tar Heels outrebounded GU, 35-30, and pulled down nine offensive rebounds. Gonzaga was only credited with one offensive board.
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14:54 – Gonzaga 12, North Carolina 9: Corey Kispert has five points to lead the Zags to the early edge in the Kennel.
Kispert is 2 of 3 from the floor and has hit a 3-pointer.
Forward Filip Petrusev added three points for GU.
Garrison Brooks has four points on 2-of-3 shooting to lead North Carolina.
UNC starting forward Armando Bacot got the early assignment to guard Petrusev and picked up two fouls in the opening minute.
The Zags are shooting 55.6%. UNC is at 44.4%.
10:33 – Gonzaga 24, North Carolina 21: A corner 3 from Corey Kispert sees the Zags take the lead back from UNC.
Kispert’s 3 and a strong basket inside from Filip Petrusev put Gonzaga up 22-19.
Kispert has eight points on 3 of 5 shooting. Petrusev has seven points.
UNC is led by Garrison Brooks’ seven points.
7:52 – Gonzaga 34, North Carolina 23: Another big 3 from Corey Kispert gets the Kennel on its feet as the Zags stretch the lead to double digits.
Kispert collected a pass in transition from Ryan Woolridge and found nothing but net on his shot from the left wing.
The forward from Edmonds, Washington, is up to 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Gonzaga is on a 12-2 run to build the lead.
On the bad news side for Gonzaga, starting forward Killian Tillie has two fouls.
UNC has not scored in 2-minutes, 3-seconds.
3:58 – Gonzaga 41, North Carolina 27: The Zags lead the Tar Heels by 14 thanks to a stellar first 16 minutes from Corey Kispert.
Kispert has 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
Gonzaga is currently on a 5-0 run thanks to North Carolina being scoreless the last 1-minute, 59-seconds.
Garrison Brooks leads North Carolina with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Gonzaga is shooting 56.7%, North Carolina is at 37.9%.
Kispert has played 19 minutes and is 6-of-8 shooting. The forward from Edmonds, Washington, has made 3 of 4 from 3-point range.
Filip Petrusev has added nine points for Gonzaga on 3-of-8 shooting. GU guard Joel Ayayi has a game-high six rebounds.
North Carolina is led by Garrison Brooks’ 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Jeremiah Francis has chipped in six points for UNC, which has featured 11 players in the game.
Gonzaga shot 50% from the field and 40% from 3. North Carolina is at 40.5% shooting and just 20% from beyond the arc.
UNC owns the rebounding edge, 22-19, and the points-in-the-paint advantage, 22-18. Gonzaga leads in fast-break points, 10-8, and points off turnovers, 9-3.
A 10-3 spurt by the Tar Heels to close the half left Gonzaga with the 7-point lead at the break.
14:39 – Gonzaga 56, North Carolina 42: The Zags ride a 6-0 run into the first media timeout of the half and have pushed the lead to 14.
Gonzaga is shooting 57.1% this half. UNC opened the half cold and is at 18.2%. The Tar Heels are on a 2-minute, 22-second scoreless streak.
Corey Kispert continues to lead the Bulldogs with 19 points.
11:25 – Gonzaga 65, North Carolina 50: GU forward Filip Petrusev is up to 13 points and Gonzaga still leads by double digits, however starting foward Killian Tillie picked up his fourth foul just before the media timeout.
Both teams have found their shooting strokes after an up-and-down start to the second half. Gonzaga has made 8 of its last 9 field goal attempts and North Carolina has connected on 3 of its last 4.
Garrison Brooks leads UNC with 15 points. Corey Kispert still leads Gonzaga with 19 points.
7:19 – Gonzaga 79, North Carolina 59: Corey Kispert reels off seven points in four minutes and the Zags have pushed the lead to 20.
Kispert has 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting. He has made five 3-pointers.
Filip Petrusev has added 15 points for GU. Guard Joel Ayayi has a game-high nine rebounds and three steals.
The Zags are shooting 77.8% this half. They have also made 5-of-7 3-pointers. UNC is shooting 40% for the half and the game.
Garrison Brooks leads the Tar Heels with 15 points.
3:52 – Gonzaga 87, North Carolina 66: The red-hot Bulldogs get the lead up to 21 after making 5 of their last 6 shots.
Gonzaga is 16-of-21 shooting in the second half. They have made 5 of 7 3-point attempts.
Corey Kispert still leads the Zags with 26 points. Filip Petrusev has added 19.
Final – Gonzaga 94, North Carolina 81: Corey Kispert scored 26 points, Filip Petrusev added 20 and the No. 2 Bulldogs beat the Tar Heels on Wednesday night at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane.
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