We’ll make this recap short and sweet. Gonzaga’s offense was clicking on every single cylinder possible Saturday night as they defeated the Portland Pilots, 116-88.
The main story obviously is that Joel Ayayi recorded the first triple-double in program history. It was a storyline coming into the season, with fans clamoring for the possibility, and after a few close calls earlier in the year, it came to fruition on Saturday. Ayayi finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists to go with ZERO TURNOVERS. The 14 assists are second most in a single game in Gonzaga history behind Blake Stepp’s 16.
Gonzaga’s 116 points are the third most in the Mark Few era. A whopping seven players finished in double figures, led by Drew Timme’s 26 points and Anton Watson’s career-high 23. The Bulldogs had an absurd 80 points in the paint, which has to be up there with the most in school history. They only hit four three-pointers and still put up 116 points at 1.55 points per possession.
If there was any downside to this game, it would be the defense. They gave up 13 threes and Portland scored 1.16 points per possession, which is a horrible number given the quality of the Pilots’ offense. Obviously it will be overshadowed by the offensive performance, but that kind of defensive effort would not win beyond the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Julian Strawther scored 12 points and Ben Gregg recorded the first basket of his career in his home town of Portland. All in all, it was a fun night for Zag fans.
Gonzaga will head back to Spokane and host Pepperdine on Thursday before traveling to Moraga to take on Saint Mary’s, who lost their WCC opener to Santa Clara.