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Gonzaga 76, Pacific 58

Zags Grind Out 22nd Straight Win

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Pacific POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it wasn’t pretty, but Gonzaga maintained their undefeated streak and improved to 18-0 overall and 9-0 in the WCC with a 76-58 win over Pacific in Stockton. Drew Timme led the way offensively with 21 points, while Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert pitched in 19 and 14, respectively.

The Zags came out of the gate slow, particularly on the offensive end. They scored just 11 points on 36% shooting from the field with six turnovers in the opening ten minutes, and played from behind for most of the first half. Pacific made it an ugly game and prevented the Zags from developing much offensive rhythm in the half. All of this resulted in Gonzaga’s lowest scoring half of the season, as they went into the break down 32-31.

Gonzaga’s lack of offensive production in the first half wasn’t helped any by their lack of three point shooting. Suggs made the first three of the game for the Zags with 4:47 remaining in the first half, and they ended the half just 2-8 from deep.

The start of the second half didn’t look very promising for the Zags, either, as a bevy of turnovers on offense contributed to an early 8-2 run for Pacific. Eventually, Gonzaga found some offense in the form of Drew Timme and his glorious mustache. They were able to run a few plays for Timme down low, taking advantage of foul trouble for the Tigers’ bigs.

Both Timme and Corey Kispert found their groove as the half went on, and each came through with some clutch plays as Gonzaga gradually wrestled control away from the Tigers. 27 of their combined 35 points came in the second half as they led the Zags down the stretch.

Credit where it is due, Pacific managed to keep the game close even as the Zags began to find their rhythm. It wasn’t until the final minutes that Gonzaga was able to put the game away. Damon Stoudamire’s team played hard for 40 minutes and definitely put together a better showing than the last time these two teams faced off, a 95-49 win for the Zags.

In addition to his 19 points Jalen Suggs also pulled down 9 rebounds. Joel Ayayi also had 8 points and 8 rebounds for the Zags, while Pacific’s Jordan Bell recorded an 11 point, 11 rebound double double.

With the recent changes to the schedule, Gonzaga will play its next game on Monday against BYU in Provo, game time set for 8 p.m. PST.