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The Gonzaga bench shines bright in easy win over Incarnate Word, 103-68

It wasn’t all sunshine however, as Corey Kispert left the game with a leg injury.

NCAA Basketball: Incarnate Word at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

After a wild weekend of basketball in the PK80 Invitational, the Gonzaga Bulldogs got the easy game they were looking for against the Incarnate Word Cardinals, winning 103-68 on Wednesday evening.

It was a game for the bench to get some meaningful minutes in. Most of the starting lineup didn’t play more than 20 minutes. Rui Hachimura led the Zags with 18 points, and Zach Norvell chipped in 17. Josh Perkins was lights out from the field, hitting all of his shots and scoring 16 points.

It wasn’t all great, however. Corey Kispert left the game with nearly four minutes left in the first half. Kispert limped to the bench and went straight back to the locker room. He didn’t return to the court as the team warmed up for the second half. This will be an interesting injury to watch. Kispert has been phenomenal as an all-around stabilizing workhorse for the Zags to start the season. He also missed all of his senior year of high school with a foot injury. Hopefully, this is just a tweak and nothing else.

In his place, Norvell put together the game everyone knows he is capable of finishing. Norvell was aggressive, finishing 7-for-10 from the floor, and led all players with 28 minutes.

This was exactly the sort of game you wanted to see from the Zags. They were efficient on the offensive end, they didn’t turn the ball over, they got some decent minutes from their bench, and the defense held up against the Cardinals. Incarnate Word shot decently (for a Gonzaga opponent) from the floor at 43.9 percent. But they were harried into turnovers galore, coughing the ball up 19 times. Gonzaga was able to translate those chances to 29 points.

Most importantly, after watching the bench be yay Rui (Texas) to we have a bench (Florida), it was nice to see them drop a total of 59 points. Granted, that is much easier to do when the starters are pulled barely into the second half, but this sort of game was exactly what was required with games against Creighton and Villanova looming around the corner.

Going forward, the Kispert injury will be one to watch. If he is forced to sit out for a couple of games, it will require Norvell and/or Hachimura to step it up in a big way.