Gonzaga continued their march through the Cascade Collegiate Conference by defeating the NAIA’s 20th ranked Lewis-Clark State College of Lewiston, Idaho 112-62. Gonzaga was led by Drew Timme with 25 point, 8 rebounds and a perfect 7 for 7 from the line. LC State was led by Kevin Baker with 21 points and 5 rebounds.
LC State looked like a worthy opponent early in the contest staying within 10 points for the first 9 minutes. Unfortunately, LC State had no answer for Drew Timme and his front court partner Chet Holmgren. Timme returned to his uber-efficient play going 9 for 14 from the floor with Holmgren adding 12 points on 4 for six shooting including 2 for 3 from deep. Gonzaga extended their lead to 30 just before the half.
Julian Strawther starred for the Zags in the 2nd half scoring 13 points and shooting 2 for 4 from deep. Gonzaga sat their starters at about the 12 minute mark of the half and all Zags got at least two minutes of playing time.
Defeating an overmatched NAIA school, enjoyable if you’re a Zag fan, is secondary to getting questioned about the team answered for the upcoming season. Among those are who would start, the bench rotations, could three-point shooting improve and would tonight be another smothering defensive performance.
Nolan Hickman got the start for Julian Strawther tonight though Strawther did start in the 2nd half. Rasir Bolton got the start for the second straight game and looks to have locked down a starting position.
Anton Watson and Julian Stawther were the first players off the bench, followed by Hunter Sallis, Kaden Perry and Ben Gregg. Perry has entered the game before Gregg for a second time and may have the edge to be the team’s fourth big.
Once again, the three-point shooting was ugly. Gonzaga was 9 for 24 from deep and three of those makes were late in the game by Will Graves, Matthew Lang and Ben Gregg. Thus far, only Holmgren and Strawther have been a consistent threat from beyond the arc.
Hard to get a good read on the defense in an exhibition game but as expected rim protection has dramatically improved over last year. Holmgren had three blocks, Timme two and Perry one. Gonzaga had seven steals led by Anton Watson with two.
Gonzaga’s next game is Tuesday, November 9th at 6:00 p.m. The season’s first regular season game will be against Dixie State of St. George, UT who are currently ranked #310 in KenPom.