There's not much to say after a game like this one. Facing an extremely overmatched Eastern Washington team, Gonzaga absolutely dominated tonight, coming away with a 86-57 win. Steven Gray flashed some brilliant outside shooting to pace the Zags. The senior guard finished with 18 points, all coming in the first half off of three pointers. The news of the evening, however, was that Elias Harris is still in quite a battle with his Achilles injury. The sophomore forward sat tonight's game out and is reportedly questionable for Saturday's game. Harris seemed to turn a corner against Marquette in Kansas City but the injury kept him out of a majority of this week's practice. Fingers crossed as the Zags' will be severely shorthanded without him against Illinois if he can't go.
Gonzaga was incredibly efficient in the first half tonight. If I remember correctly, they were shooting around 70% from the floor in the first twenty minutes and were nearly perfect from three point distance. Demetri Goodson and Steven Gray did a nice job at facilitating the offensive flow early on. Meech finished with six assists with only one turnover against him. Gray had five assists but four turnovers. A majority of Meech's good looks tonight found the hands of Robert Sacre who finished with 13 points on 4-7 shooting (5-7 from the free throw line).
A bit more after the jump...
We knew heading into this game that this matchup would be a prime time for some of the bench guys to get extended minutes. They did just that. Everyone got into double-digit minutes. Mathis Monninghoff absolutely lit it up in his stint, going 5-5 from the floor with 13 points. I may be exaggerating this but I don't think I've seen him miss a three point attempt from the corner yet. Just saying. He still has quite a bit of work to do in terms of defensive fundamentals and a few other technical things but he has got a huge ceiling on offense.
Sam Dower and Marquise Carter got the most minutes off the bench which was much needed in my opinion. Both could potentially be the X-factors this season and, speaking bluntly, both have been underwhelming this season. I do really like the idea of what Marquise Carter does on the court. His tempo of play could be a huge asset to this team but it really does feel like he is in slow motion at times on the court. He made some nifty passes and connected on all three of his shot attempts. I imagine that Mark Few is going to try and work him in a bit more over the next three games as he is still clearly tinkering with this rotation. Sam Dower had a nice game. I particularly thought he looked more active rebounding the ball but is still lacking some necessary toughness on the offensive side. Sam's still the guy I look to to be a spark this season but he truly seems to be on a Micah Downs' size leash with Mark Few.
Next up is Illinois this Saturday for the Battle in Seattle. The Fighting Illini are a very tough team with plenty of experience. It will take Gonzaga's best game of the young season to beat them. Fingers crossed that Elias Harris will be able to go on Saturday.