In a game that made fans think about the worst-case scenario for about 25 minutes, Gonzaga beat a tough Georgia State squad 93-72. Gonzaga was led by Drew Timme with 32 points, 22 in the second half, Chet Holmgren with 19 point and 17 rebounds and Andrew Nembhard with 11 assists. Georgia State was let by Corey Allen with 16 points and Jalen Thomas with 8 rebounds.
Gonzaga played great in the first half………for about three minutes. Then, what could go wrong did go wrong.
2 for 11 from three, 9 for 19 from the free throw line and outrebounded 28 to 23 by a team whose largest player for a large part of the half was 6’7”. Gonzaga spent almost eight minutes without a field goal late in the second half, 0 for 12 from the field. It was ugly, possibly the worst half of Gonzaga basketball I’ve ever seen.
Even worse, Georgia State Shot less than 30% from the field for the half and committed six turnovers. How did they stay in the game? Despite an insane height disadvantage, Georgia State had 14 second chance points and were 3 for 6 from deep.
The rebounding advantage happened despite Georgia State’s center Jalen Thomas missing the last eight minutes the half with three fouls. Shortly thereafter, State’s power forward Eliel Nsoseme went down with a knee injury. Gonzaga still couldn’t capitalize and was lucky to enter the locker room with a 35 – 33 halftime advantage.
Gonzaga looked recharged starting the second half and determined to use their size advantage. Timme scored 10 points in the first six minutes of the half, but Georgia State’s suddenly became efficient on offense, knotting the score at 52 at the first TV timeout.
Gonzaga continued to pound the ball down low to Timme, who scored four more points in another minute, before taking a well-deserved break. Georgia State had their two replacement bigs foul out, allowing Chet Holmgren to exert his will with seven quick points and eight rebounds.
Finally, with three of their four bigs out of the game, a courageous Georgia State ran out of gas and luck. Gonzaga, led by Timme and Holgren, reeled off 21 straight points to seal the game. The Universe returned to alignment.
With that said, it was still a poor showing from our beloved Zags but hopefully it was a good wake-up call. They’ll need to play a full 40 minutes against a tough and athletic Memphis Squad.