Gonzaga defeated the Cal State University Bakersfield Roadrunners 77 - 49. Gonzaga was led by Filip Petrusev with 15 points, Killian Tillie added 13 (3-4 from deep) with Gilder, Ayayi and Timme all scoring in double figures. The Roadrunners were led by Justin Elder-Davis with 11 points.
Gonzaga won this very physical game (40 fouls called) with defense. Bakersfield turned the ball over 27 times with Gonzaga having 11 steals and five blocks. The Roadrunners kept it close in the first half, 24 - 17 after 12 minutes, despite only shooting 32% from the field. The Zags went on a 15 - 4 run to close the first half with an 18-point lead. Gonzaga pulled away midway through the 2nd half after a flagrant foul was committed on Drew Timme and GU went on a 16 – 2 run.
Despite being a 28-point victory, the Zags showed several areas where improvement is needed. For the fourth game in a row, GU shot below 68% from the free throw line. After shooting .576, .625 and .577 from the field in the first three games, the Zags shot below 50% for the third straight game. GU was also outrebounded 37 to 27 with the Roadrunners grabbing 11 offensive boards vs. 7 for the Zags. Corey Kispert’s struggles continue, he’s 3 for 24 from the field with a total of 10 points over the last three games.
Gonzaga flies to the Bahamas tomorrow to play Southern Mississippi in the 1st round of the Battle for Atlantis on Wednesday. It’s going to be a very interesting three days. Killian Tillie is looking sharp in only his 2nd game back and Filip Petrusev is becoming a star, but Kispert will need to return to form and GU will have to improve at the free throw line if Gonzaga hopes to win this tournament.