Trips to the War Memorial Gym over the years have not always been kind to Gonzaga, but there was never a doubt about the outcome of this season’s visit in a comprehensive 100-61 rout over USF. Drew Timme was the dominant catalyst for the blowout, as the sophomore center looked like he could have outscored the Dons by himself if Mark Few let him.
Timme scored 21 of his 28 points in the first half in a nearly perfect shooting performance, missing just once from the field and three times at the free throw line, while also completing a double double with 10 rebounds. We’ll excuse those free throws if he keeps performing like this.
Jalen Suggs (11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block) also made his presence felt at both ends of the floor, while Corey Kispert, Joel Ayayi, and Aaron Cook each scored 12 points in a very balanced night of production up and down the roster. Mark Few even had the chance to empty his bench with over six minutes left in the game, and 10 of the 12 Zags who entered the game were able to score.
While Timme put on a show, Gonzaga’s defense completely locked up the Dons to such effect that Timme almost singlehandedly outscored the hosts in the first half (26 to 21). USF missed its first 10 shots from the field and was seemingly under duress at all times in their halfcourt offense. The Dons only managed to bank some points in the opening minutes of the game courtesy of the free throw line, which happened to be the only opportunities for them to take an uncontested shot.
USF, a team highly dependent on drive and kick play to generate loads of three-point shooting opportunities, struggled mightily to break down Gonzaga’s defense with penetration. That failure made it a long night for the Dons, as they still unleashed their average number of attempts from the three-point line but without much success as they finished the evening with a paltry 7-33 (21.2%) mark from the arc. That won’t get it done against a team of Gonzaga’s caliber.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the floor, Timme used a full array of spins, slips, and even some splashes from the three-point line in one of the best offensive performances of the season. Here’s how the first 14 minutes looked in Gonzaga’s stat book:
Give the Dons credit for not completely folding and maintaining their effort, despite the onslaught, but that won’t be much comfort on a day that was Gonzaga’s from start to finish.
After a rare five game stretch of road games, the Zags will now get to return home to play Saint Mary’s on Thursday. Hopefully they’ll be able to repeat their performance from this game in what was one of the more complete games this squad has put together in its undefeated campaign.