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Gonzaga defeats St. Mary’s 87-65

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NCAA Basketball: St. Mary’s at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

In previous years, a game against St. Mary’s was a schedule circling event. This year, not so much. In a game that was essentially over at the half Gonzaga beat the Gaels 87-65 in a game that wasn’t really as close as the score indicates (if you can say that about a 22-point win).

Corey Kispert led all scorers with 20, Joel Ayayi chipped in 16 including 4 of 5 from deep with Jalen Suggs and Andrew Nembhard both distributing 5 assists.

As stated above, GU was firing on all cylinders in the first half, especially on the defensive end of the court. The Zags held the Gaels to 36% shooting from the field, including 1 from 11 from deep and turned them over 12 times. Meanwhile, Gonzaga hung 51 points on the stingy and slow-paced Moraga squad to take a 27-point lead into the locker room.

The beginning of the 2nd half was more of the same as the hapless Gaels turned the ball over three times in the first two minutes of the half. After six minutes of play with 38-point lead, the Zags took their foot off the gas and started emptying the bench allowing the Gael’s subs to close the gap.

It what is becoming the new standard, Randy Bennett warmly greeted Mark Few with a post-game handshake and hug. It makes a Zag fan miss the bad-old days, when a tough Gaels loss was followed by Bennett blow-by.

Spokane recently went into “phase 2” of COVID status allowing family members into the kennel for the first time this season.

The Zags will take-on San Diego at the Kennel, Saturday, Feb 20 at 5:00 p.m..