GONZAGA

Smith scores 27, leads No. 8 Gonzaga over Portland 115-75

Jan 14, 2023, 9:29 PM

Gonzaga Malachi Smith...

Gonzaga guard Malachi Smith shoots against Portland. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Malachi Smith led six teammates in double figures with his season high 27 points, seven 3-pointers and a team-leading eight rebounds on Saturday night, and No. 8 Gonzaga used a dominant first half to top Portland 115-75.

Gonzaga 115, Portland 75: Box score

Gonzaga (16-3, 5-0 West Coast Conference) never trailed, racing out to a 40-14 lead with 7:00 left in the first half, igniting a raucous home crowd who cheered on the Bulldogs to their NCAA-best 75th straight home victory, and 15th straight win over Portland.

Gonzaga unleashed a barrage of 3s early on, knocking down six through the first 10 minutes while Portland (9-11, 1-4) shot 0-9 from behind the arc during that time. Portland cut the deficit to 17 with 5:16 left in the half, but the Bulldogs responded with a 19-3 run, and Gonzaga led 61-28 at half.

Drew Timme scored 18 for Gonzaga, Julian Strawther added 14 and seven rebounds while Nolan Hickman scored 13 and Anton Watson and Ben Gregg each added 12. Ten players scored for the Bulldogs who have now won 11 straight.

Moses Wood led the Pilots with 19 points, shooting six of 13, and Kristian Sjolund added 17 points and a team-leading 12 rebounds.

It was Gonzaga’s third consecutive game scoring more than 100 points against Portland. The avalanche was fueled by a spectacular shooting performance which saw Gonzaga finish 56% from the field, hitting 17 3s at a 45% clip.

Portland turned the ball over 19 times, including 12 in the first half, leading to 37 points for the Bulldogs who gave it away just four times.

BIG PICTURE

The Zags have now won 11 straight following their loss to Baylor on Dec. 2 and remain atop the WCC standings.

Portland, following a 7-4 start, has now dropped seven of their last nine.

UP NEXT

Gonzaga will host Loyola-Marymount on Thursday.

Portland will host San Diego on Thursday.

Last time: No. 8 Gonzaga rallies past BYU on Strawther’s game-winner

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Smith scores 27, leads No. 8 Gonzaga over Portland 115-75