Chet Holmgren leads balanced effort, No. 1 Gonzaga tops USF 89-73

Feb 24, 2022, 8:51 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Chet Holmgren had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and No. 1 Gonzaga picked up its defensive pressure in the second half to hold off San Francisco 89-73 and extend its winning streak to 17 on Thursday night.

Gonzaga 89, USF 73: Box Score

Drew Timme just missed a triple-double with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and Julian Strawther added 15 points for the Zags (24-2, 13-0 WCC), which earned a 23rd straight victory against USF and 10th in a row on the Dons’ home floor.

Khalil Shabazz scored 17 points for San Francisco (22-8, 9-6), which honored him and the other seniors before their final home game on the Hilltop.

Shabazz took an elbow to the face and went down with 4:32 left in the game and his mother rushed the floor to check on him. A flagrant foul was called on Andrew Nembhard, who finished with 17 points and six assists for the balanced Zags.

Julian Rishwain’s 3-pointer for USF with 2:52 remaining made it a 10-point game.

Gonzaga clamped down on defense in the second half to slow the Dons, who were coming off a 104-71 road rout at Pacific on Monday. But USF got back within 75-62 on a 3-pointer by Gabe Stefanini with 8:08 to play.

Gonzaga’s 14-4 run early in the second, including an 8-0 burst, broke open the game as USF missed six straight field goals during that stretch.

The first half saw a combined 13 3-pointers and the Zags hitting 22 of 33 shots to build a 52-42 lead at the break.

Gonzaga hit 8 of its first 10 shots for a 20-11 lead at the 15:22 mark of the opening half. But the Dons answered with timely 3s – hitting 4 of their initial 6 from deep.

Strawther fell hard to the ground in front of the Bulldogs’ bench with about five minutes left before halftime. He took a quick moment to come out of the game, stretch and catch his breath before going right back in.

Gonzaga shot 55% from the floor on Thursday. The team secured its 10th straight West Coast Conference regular-season title on Saturday, when they beat Santa Clara 81-69 despite shooting a subpar 40%.


Strawther, Timme and Holmgren combined to go 15 for 21 with five field goals apiece in the opening 20 minutes.


USF sophomore Volodymyr Markovetskyy of Truskavets, Ukraine, played 2 minutes on a day the 7-foot-2 center’s homeland was under attack.


Gonzaga: The Zags have won 12 straight road games, the longest active streak in the country. … Speaking of streaks, Gonzaga has won 34 straight conference games – 33 by double digits – dating to a 91-78 loss at BYU of Feb. 22, 2020, the longest such streak in the nation.

USF: A win would have given the Dons program its most wins in a single season since being reinstated in 1985-86. … After shooting 59.3% from the floor against Pacific, which was the Dons’ second-best mark this season after finishing at 61.1% in a 92-76 win over Prairie View A&M on Nov. 11, USF finished at 42%. … The Dons’ last win in the rivalry was a 66-65 home victory on Feb. 18, 2012.


Gonzaga: Completes its Bay Area trip visiting Saint Mary’s on Saturday having won the last seven and 22 of 26 against the Gaels.

USF: At San Diego on Saturday for the regular-season finale.

Gonzaga unanimous No. 1 in AP Top 25; Arizona up to 2

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Chet Holmgren leads balanced effort, No. 1 Gonzaga tops USF 89-73