Johnathan Williams III led all scorers with 21 and Josh Perkins went 6 for 9 from deep to score 20 as Gonzaga beat an outmatched Ohio State University 86-59 to win their opening game in the PK80 tournament.
The game was competitive for the first 15 minutes as both offenses looked very sharp. Someone forgot to tell OSU they weren’t very good 3-point shooter because the made 5 of their first 7 attempts from deep. As good as OSU was shooting, Josh Perkins matched them and then some. He was 5 for 7 from the arc in the first half, hitting shots from all over the floor. JWIII was 5 for 6 from the floor in the first half as Gonzaga took over in the final five minutes to extend the halftime lead to 13.
The first half probably wouldn’t have been that close, but the Zags were hit with nine fouls, disrupting their offensive flow and giving OSU several second chances.
The start of the second half looked like it would be the Corey Kispert show. Kispert hit back to back threes then completed a nice drive to the rim to score eight quick points. After the Zags quick second half start, the game was never really in question. OSU went cold shooting 1 for their next 13 threes to finish at 6 for 20 (30%) and end the game shooting 34.5% from the field.
After getting soundly beat on the boards in the first half, the Zags ended the game outrebounding OSU 35-31 led by Killian Tillie’s 11 boards. Beside JWIII and Tillie, Jacob Larsen was a very bright spot on the Zags interior. Credited with two blocks (I think they missed one) Larsen scored 6 points, grabbed three boards and was an interior presence taking up space and altering shots.
The Zags went 9 deep for the first 38 minutes and Jeremy Jones looked very good. He scored on a couple of nice drives to the rim, hit his only three and finished with 7 points. The Zags were able to clear the bench in the last two minutes with Wade, Beach and Martin all getting playing time.
The Zags take on the Florida Gators tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN 2. Florida crushed Stanford earlier tonight creating a repeat match-up of last year’s semi-final at the Advocare Invitational.