Andrew Nembhard had a game-high 16 points and six assists as No. 5 Gonzaga defeated No. 25 Texas Tech 69-55 Saturday at the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix.
Rasir Bolton added 15 points, making five 3-pointers, and Anton Watson scored 10 for the Bulldogs (9-2) in the matchup of the past two NCAA Tournament runners-up.
Kevin McCullar and Adonis Arms each scored 14 points for Texas Tech (8-2), with McCullar also grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds.
The Red Raiders played without Terrance Shannon Jr., who entered the game tied for the team lead with 14.3 points per game, because he was suffering from recurring back spasms.
Against Texas Tech’s “no-middle” defense, the same as Baylor used to beat the Zags 86-70 in this past spring’s NCAA title game, Gonzaga relied on its outside game.
Preseason All-American Drew Timme and heralded 7-foot freshman Chet Holmgren combined for just 12 points on 3-for-8 shooting. Holmgren, who battled foul trouble, had a game-high 11 rebounds.
Gonzaga entered the game tied for 214th among 358 NCAA Division I teams in 3-point shooting at 32.9 percent, but made 13 of 31 (41.9 percent) Saturday.
Bolton made his first 3-pointer with 8:31 left in the first half, giving Gonzaga a 20-10 lead. He hit another on the Zags’ next possession.
Gonzaga led by as many as 13 points, 26-13, in the first half before settling for a 34-26 lead at the intermission.
Texas Tech used an 8-0 run to pull within 42-40 with 14:18 remaining before Nembhard and Watson made back-to-back 3-pointers for the Zags.
After Daniel Batcho made a baseline jumper to pull the Red Raiders within 48-42, Nembhard made another 3 and Watson converted two free throws to extend the lead back to double-digits at 53-42.
A 3-pointer by Julian Strawther capped a 14-2 run to make it 56-42 with 11:23 left. The Red Raiders never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
–Field Level Media