Now that’s more like it. Whatever Gonnzaga’s coaches said at practice this week did the trick, as the Bulldogs pummeled the San Diego Toreros in a 94-50 win that wasn’t even as close as that scoreline indicates.
Joel Ayayi led the Zags in scoring with 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists in another strong all-around performance. Filip Petrusev’s consistent production continued with 17 points and 5 rebounds, while Admon Gilder (12 points) and Corey Kispert (10 points) rounded out the double digit scoring. Killian Tillie had 10 rebounds to go along with 6 points and 3 blocks, and Ryan Woolridge looked like he could threaten for a triple double in the first half before scaling it back in the second.
Assistant Coach Brian Michaelson labeled last weekend’s defensive performances “unacceptable,” so the Zags made sure they didn’t repeat that showing against a USD team that was hoping for an upset opportunity.
This game was never close as the Zags quickly jumped out to an 18-5 lead in the first five minutes and never looked back. The defense, in particular, looked as good as it has all season with the Bulldogs forcing 19 USD turnovers which created a surfeit of transition opportunities.
Gonzaga’s large lead allowed Mark Few the opportunity to empty his bench early (8 minutes left in the game) and gave his rotation a chance to rest their legs and cheer on the reserves who made the most of their extended minutes. 11 of the 12 Zags who played in this game scored, including a three-pointer from Will Graves which gave him his second of the season.
The Zags will hopefully enjoy some sun and beachtime before cruising up the highway to LMU to take on the Lions this Saturday. Let’s hope they can repeat this performance and extend their conference road win streak to 35 games.