At the 11:40 mark in the first half, the score was Gonzaga 27, UW 6. Four minutes later, the Zags had extended the lead to 35-10 to end a 30-6 run. That’s really all you need to know about tonight’s contest and I use the term contest loosely. Fans across the state of Washington were excited to see the renewal of the GU/UW rivalry, sadly they’ll have to wait another year for the possibility of seeing a competitive game. Gonzaga coasted to a bench clearing 98-71 win in a game that didn’t even seem that close.
Once again Gonzaga came out smoking hot, at one points making 11 straight shots and shooting a blistering 80% from the field the first 10 minutes of the first half. The Zags continued their balanced scoring with NWG leading the way with 23, Big Shem adding 17 and Jordan Matthews contributing 14 while going 3-5 from 3.
Two of the big questions going into the game were could Gonzaga contain Markelle Fultz and could the Zags keep the Huskies off the boards, no and no, but it didn’t matter. UW’s offense was disjointed the entire game and their defense provided little resistance. Fultz keep his gaudy stat line intact scoring 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds but those points came off 26 shots. Speaking of rebounds, UW outrebounded Gonzaga 54 to 40 with 29 of those rebounds being on the offensive end with Gonzaga only grabbing 10.
The disparity in offensive rebounds would normally be alarming, but if you saw the game you realize UW missed shot after shot in the key, seemingly bothered by the height of Karno, Collins, and Tillie. UW shot a poor 19.8% from the field in the first half, improving that number to 30.4% for the game as the second half degenerated into garbage time.
UW’s maladroit performance kept he atmosphere in the Kennel subdued except for audible outbursts when Rui and Rem entered the game and the occasional chant of “Fire Romar” directed at the UW bench. Possibly the loudest outburst of the night was for Zach Collins as he smothered a Fultz dunk attempt. Collins was called for a phantom foul and even ESPN announcer Beth Mowins noted, “that was a lot of leather.”