In an exhibition if your an Eastern Oregon fan but a real game if you favor GU, the Zags demolished Eastern Oregon 120 to 42. Seven Zags scored in double figures, led by Drew Timme with 18 points, Efton Reid added 16 and Malachi Smith had 10 rebounds to go with his 10 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Eastern Oregon was led by Malachi Afework with 11 points and three players had 3 rebounds each. Eastern only had 19 rebounds for the game.
The result of the game was a foregone conclusion before the tip, what was in question is would Gonzaga be able to keep up their intensity for the entire 40 minutes. The answer was a resounding yes. Gonzaga built a 30-point lead by the half with the unlikely shooting line of 75% from the field, 62.5% from three but only 55.6% from the line.
In the first half, Gonzaga took full advantage of Eastern Oregon’s lack of interior size with Watson and Timme executing some of the best hi-lo passing of the season with the pair getting 11 and 13 points respectively, with Timme being a perfect 6 for 6 from the field. It wasn’t just the interior play, Gonzaga’s offense was firing on all cylinders allowing them to get out and run, dropping a season high 58 first half points.
With the starters out early and Eastern Oregon losing all intensity, second half highlights included some very impressive passing by Dom Harris who had five quick, quality assists. We also saw some genuinely great play from Efton Reid who was a very impressive 8 for 8 from the field demonstrating a sweet, Abdul-Jabbar like baby hook over his left shoulder.
The game also saw the first appearance of Abe Eagle in his third year in the program. Eagle executed a nice post move to get his first points in a Gonzaga uniform. Walk-on Colby Brooks also hit a three-pointer and added a nice dunk.
The final non-conference game of the season provided everything a Gonzaga fan could want; a 78 point blow-out, quality minutes by players 6 - 10, walk-ons getting a chance to play and no injuries.
Gonzaga opens WCC play on Saturday, New Year’s Eve, at 2:00 p.m. at the Kennel against Pepperdine.
Note: The other exhibition game listed on the Eastern Oregon schedule was their Dec 6 contest against Boise State, a 36-point loss. It makes sense to designate the 99+% chance of loss games against quality D-1 opponents as exhibitions. Eastern Oregon retains their 7 - 4 record.