Timme scores 22 as No. 2 Gonzaga beats North Florida 104-63

Nov 7, 2022, 7:01 AM | Updated: 9:28 pm
Gonzaga guard Julian Strawther (0) shoots while defended by North Florida forward Jadyn Parker (24)...

Gonzaga guard Julian Strawther (0) shoots while defended by North Florida forward Jadyn Parker (24) and guard Chaz Lanier (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

              Gonzaga guard Malachi Smith, right, shoots while defended by North Florida guard Oscar Berry during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
            
              North Florida forward Carter Hendricksen, left, shoots while defended by Gonzaga guard Malachi Smith, center, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
            
              Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) shoots while defended by North Florida forward Jadyn Parker (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
            
              Gonzaga forward Anton Watson, left, shoots while defended by North Florida forward Carter Hendricksen during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
            
              North Florida guard Jose Placer, left, shoots while defended by Gonzaga guard Rasir Bolton during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
            
              North Florida forward Carter Hendricksen, right, secures a rebound next to Gonzaga guard Malachi Smith, left, and Drew Timme during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — North Florida took a 10-8 lead early against No. 2 Gonzaga, but that just seemed to ignite Drew Timme and the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga went on a 26-0 run, helped by eight North Florida turnovers, to build a big lead they never relinquished.

“That’s as good a stretch as we’ve had all year,” Coach Mark Few said after Gonzaga posted a 104-63 victory in the season opener for both teams. “We got our hands on a lot of balls.”

“We played with great intensity,” Few said, adding that North Florida is a team that can score a lot.

Timme, a player of the year candidate, led all scorers with 22 points, Julian Strawther added 16 and six Zags finished in double figures.

Anton Watson had 10 points, four rebounds, four assists and five steals for Gonzaga (1-0), which won its 68th consecutive home game, the nation’s longest such streak.

“I think he was terrific in the first half,” Few said of Watson. “He got us going and made a lot of plays.”

The Bulldogs, who have led the nation in scoring for four consecutive seasons, shot 63% in the game while holding the Ospreys to 36%.

Carter Hendricksen scored 16 points, Jadyn Parker 13 and Jose Placer 12 for North Florida (0-1), a veteran-laden team from the Atlantic Sun Conference that returned its top four scorers from last season.

“You can’t let someone go on a 26-0 run,” North Florida coach Matthew Driscoll said. “We had too many turnovers that led to easy baskets.”

Transfer Malachi Smith had seven points during the big Gonzaga run and finished with 15.

“Malachi is getting a little more comfortable out there and getting more assertive,” Few said.

The Bulldogs closed the first half with an 11-2 run, holding North Florida without a field goal for the final 4:30, to take a 53-23 halftime lead.

Gonzaga shot 65% in the first half, led by Timme’s 16 points, while the Ospreys shot 28%. North Florida committed 13 turnovers in the first, which Gonzaga converted into 20 points.

Rasir Bolton hit a pair of 3-pointers as Gonzaga pushed its lead to 71-34 with 15 minutes left in the game. North Florida did not threaten again.

VETERAN PUNCH

North Florida returned Placer (14.7 points per game), Hendricksen (12.2 ppg), Jarius Hicklen (12 ppg) and Parker (8.3 ppg) from last year’s team. “This isn’t the first rodeo for these guys,” Driscoll said. “We play this kind of schedule every year.”

NAISMITH NAMES

Timme and Strawther were named Monday to the 50-player watch list for the Naismith Trophy, presented annually to college basketball’s top player. Timme was an Associated Press second-team All-America last season and won the Karl Malone Award, presented to the nation’s top power forward.

BIG PICTURE

North Florida: The Ospreys were picked to finish fifth in the A-SUN coaches’ poll. They finished 11-20 last season, 7-9 in the league. North Florida also faces No. 3 Houston and No. 4 Kentucky this year.

Gonzaga: The Zags largely succeeded in avoiding the rough second half performances that showed up in exhibition games against Tennessee and NAIA Warner Pacific. They have won 18 consecutive regular-season openers.

UP NEXT

North Florida plays at Washington on Friday.

Gonzaga plays Michigan State on an aircraft carrier in San Diego on Friday.

___

AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Indiana Pacers forward Jalen Smith (25) dunks against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30...
Associated Press

Rookie Nembhard has 31, leads Pacers past Warriors, 112-104

SAN FRANCSICO (AP) — Rookie Andrew Nembhard outshined the Splash Brothers on their home court. Nembhard scored a season-high 31 points and added 13 assists and eight rebounds to lead the undermanned Indiana Pacers to a 112-104 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. A second-round draft pick, Nembhard made a key 3-pointer […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

North Dakota State wins 67-62 over Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Boden Skunberg scored 20 points as North Dakota State beat Portland 67-62 on Monday. Skunberg also contributed 10 rebounds for the Bison (2-8). Tajavis Miller shot 7 for 13, including 3 for 7 from beyond the arc to add 17 points. Damari Wheeler-Thomas went 5 of 9 from the field to […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Odunewu’s 23 lead New Mexico State past Simon Fraser 77-35

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Shakiru Odunewu had 23 points in New Mexico State’s 77-35 win against Simon Fraser on Monday. Odunewu also contributed 10 rebounds and three blocks for the Aggies (4-2). Kyle Feit added 16 points while shooting 6 for 15, including 4 for 12 from beyond the arc, and he also had […]
23 hours ago
San Diego State guard Matt Bradley, below, drives with the ball as Troy guard Nelson Phillips defen...
Associated Press

Bradley leads No. 22 San Diego St over Troy 60-55

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Matt Bradley scored 19 points and No. 22 San Diego State beat Troy 60-55 on Monday night. Darrion Trammell made a layup in traffic, converted two free throws and forced a key steal in the final three minutes to seal the win for the Aztecs (7-2). “Another hard-fought game,” San Diego […]
23 hours ago
Calgary Flames forward Nazem Kadri, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Rasmus Andersson during...
Associated Press

Kadri’s winner halts Coyotes’ comeback, Flames win 3-2

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Nazem Kadri scored the game-winning goal at 15:42 of the third period and added two assists to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. Dillon Dube and Elias Lindholm also scored for Calgary (12-10-3), which has won five of its last six games at […]
23 hours ago
Washington Capitals' Nic Dowd (26) and Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) celebrate a goal against the Edmont...
Associated Press

Dowd lifts Capitals to 3-2 win over Oilers

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Nic Dowd scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and Washington Capitals beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 Monday night to snap a two-game skid. Lars Eller and T.J. Oshie also scored for the Capitals, who are 2-5-3 in their last 10 road games. Charlie Lindgren made 28 saves. “We were […]
23 hours ago
Timme scores 22 as No. 2 Gonzaga beats North Florida 104-63