NEXT GAME: Saturday, Jan. 18: BYU Cougars at Gonzaga Bulldogs, 7 p.m. PST TV: ESPN2
Joel Ayayi scored 19 points to lead five Bulldogs in double-figures and No. 1 Gonzaga rolled past the Santa Clara Broncos, 104-54, on Thursday night in the Kennel.
Filip Petrusev and Admon Gilder each had 18 points for the Zags. Corey Kispert scored 16 and freshman Drew Timme had 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Bulldogs raced out to a 28-10 lead in the first nine minutes behind eight points from Kispert and never looked back.
Santa Clara was led by Josip Vrankic’s 12 points.
Gonzaga shot 51.5%, making 8 of 21 3-pointers and 28 of 32 free throws.
Santa Clara was held to 30.4% shooting and made just 3 of 25 3s.
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16:00 – Gonzaga 10, SCU 7: Great shooting start for the Zags has them up 3 after four minutes.
GU has made 5 of 6 from the field and has turned the ball over just once as the offense is off to a strong start. Filip Petrusev leads Gonzaga with four points.
The Zags defense has forced Santa Clara into three turnovers, but 50% shooting has kept the Broncos close.
Also, an error on GU’s official stats feed before the game listed freshman Martynas Arlauskas as a starter the Bulldogs. That was corrected right before tip to list Joel Ayayi in the first five.
10:55 – Gonzaga 28, SCU 10: Coery Kispert has eight points and the Bulldogs are in full control.
Joel Ayayi has added seven points for Gonzaga. Killian Tillie and Filip Petrusev each have four.
The Bulldogs are shooting 58.8% from the field and have held Santa Clara to 26.7%. The Broncos have made just one of their last 10 shots.
7:45 – Gonzaga 40, SCU 14: Joel Ayayi is up to 12 points to lead GU and the Bulldogs keep pouring in the buckets.
The Zags have made 4 of 7 from 3-point range, all six of their free throws and are shooting 60%.
Coming out of the last media timeout, the Zags flipped up their lineup. They played three guards – Ayayi, Admon Gilder and Ryan Woolridge – and Drew Timme at center. This pushed Corey Kispert to the four, which may be something coach Mark Few looks at doing more with forward Anton Watson now out for the season.
3:41 – Gonzaga 49, SCU 20: Joel Ayayi has 14 points, Corey Kispert has 11 and the Zags don’t look to be slowing down with just a seven-man rotation.
Kispert made an awkward, catch-and-shoot 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to reach double digits. Ayayi is 6-of-8 shooting, including two 3s, and leads GU with two steals.
Keshawn Justice leads Santa Clara with six points.
Only seven players have featured for Gonzaga with the season-ending injury to Anton Watson. Senior Admon Gilder and freshman Drew Timme have been the two Zags called off the bench.
Half – Gonzaga 58, SCU 22: Joel Ayayi has 14 points, Admon Gilder has added 12 off the bench and the Bulldogs dominated the first 20 minutes against the Broncos.
Corey Kispert has also reached double figures for hot-shooting Gonzaga. He has 11 as GU has shot 51.2%, making 7 of 13 3-pointers and 9 of 11 free throws.
Keshawn Justice leads Santa Clara with six points. The Broncos have shot just 25% and have made only one 3-pointer on 12 attempts.
Forward Filip Petrusev has eight points and a game-high seven rebounds. Frontcourt-mate Killian Tille has seven points. GU holds the rebounding edge, 29-21.
Gonzaga has turned the ball over just three times and has forced nine Broncos’ turnovers.
Zags point guard Ryan Woolridge has a game-high four assists and two steals.
16:00 – Gonzaga 62, SCU 35: Slow start to the second half for the Bulldogs as Santa Clara has outscored GU 13-4 in the frame.
Gonzaga has three turnovers in the first four minutes of the half and only attempted three shots. Santa Clara, on the other hand, is 5 of 8 from the field this half.
Josip Vrankic hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the Broncos, and now has a team-high 11 points.
Filip Petrusev is up to 12 points for Gonzaga.
11:34 – Gonzaga 73, SCU 38: A much better four-minute spurt for the Zags as they ride a 9-0 run into the under-12 timeout.
Corey Kispert has 16 points to lead GU. Joel Ayayi has 14 and Filip Petrusev and Admon Gilder each have 12.
Santa Clara has not scored in the last 2:55 and has made just 1 of its last 7 shot attempts.
8:04 – Gonzaga 86, SCU 45: The Zags now have five players in double figures led by Joel Ayayi’s 17 points.
Corey Kispert and Filip Petrusev each have 16 points. Admon Gilder has 14 and Drew Timme has 10.
Martynas Arlauskas has made an appearance for GU as Mark Few looks to extend his bench at the end of the game.
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