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.
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.
Gonzaga visits Santa Clara on Thursday.
BYU hosts San Diego on Saturday.