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No. 1 Gonzaga coasts to 82-71 victory over WCC rival BYU

PROVO, Utah – Jalen Suggs scored 24 points and Drew Timme had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead top-ranked Gonzaga past BYU 82-71 on Monday night.

Gonzaga 82, BYU 71: Box score

Andrew Nembhard added 15 points and Corey Kispert had 13 as the Bulldogs (19-0, 10-0 West Coast Conference) led wire-to-wire in their 23rd straight victory.

The most recent loss for Gonzaga, a 91-78 setback against BYU, came on Feb. 22 last year.

Alex Barcello led BYU with 20 points, and Brandon Averette added 14 points and a team-high six assists. The Cougars (15-5, 6-3) lost for the sixth time in their last seven home games against the Zags.

Gonzaga quickly put BYU in a big hole and the Cougars spent the rest of the first half trying to climb out of it. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 15-2 lead four minutes in after scoring seven points off four turnovers. Five players had a basket, and Suggs capped the opening burst with a pair of buckets.

BYU cut the deficit to 19-13 on a 3-pointer from Averette, but Gonzaga did not let the Cougars get any closer before halftime.

Suggs and Timme combined to score five baskets over five consecutive possessions to fuel a 15-6 run. Timme capped the spurt with a jumper that gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the first half at 34-19.

BYU trimmed the margin to 52-44 early in the second period on a layup from Connor Harding. Nembhard slammed the door on a comeback, scoring three baskets over a two-minute stretch to push Gonzaga’s lead back to double digits.

The Bulldogs used a 20-6 run to build a 72-50 advantage with 7:19 remaining. Gonzaga hit nine straight shots during that stretch. Suggs made four of them, including on three straight possessions.

BIG PICTURE

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs led the nation in field goal percentage entering the game, connecting on 55.1% of their attempts. Gonzaga shot 50.8% against BYU.

BYU: Turnovers were a recurring problem. BYU coughed up the ball 19 times, leading to 26 points for Gonzaga.

UP NEXT

Gonzaga visits Santa Clara on Thursday.

BYU hosts San Diego on Saturday.

Last time: Timme’s late spark lifts Zags past Pacific 76-58