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No. 10 Gonzaga crushes Eastern Oregon by 78 points

Dec 28, 2022; Spokane, Washington, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Nolan Hickman (11) celebrates after a Bulldogs three-point basket against the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers in the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Timme scored 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds in just 17 minutes as No. 10 Gonzaga routed Eastern Oregon 120-42 on Wednesday afternoon in Spokane, Wash., in its final tune-up before West Coast Conference play begins.

Timme moved into the top five on the school’s career scoring list with 1,826 points, surpassing both Matt Santangelo and Kevin Pangos. Frank Burgess (1958-61) holds the record with 2,196 points.

The Zags broke a school record for largest margin of victory (78). The previous mark of 61 was set against Denver in 2018, and their 70.8 percent shooting from the field tied for second-best.

All five starters scored in double-digits for the Bulldogs (11-3), despite none playing more than 20 minutes.

Rasir Bolton scored 14 points, Nolan Hickman and Anton Watson had 13 apiece and Julian Strawther tallied 10. The Zags’ starters combined to shoot 27 of 38.

Gonzaga reserves Efton Reid III and Malachi Smith also reached double-digits. Reid, a transfer from LSU, scored a season-high 16 points on 8-for-8 shooting and Smith scored 10.

Malachi Afework led Eastern Oregon (7-5), an NAIA program from La Grande, Ore., with 11 points. The Mountaineers shot 29.6 percent (16 of 54) for the game, including just 5 of 22 from 3-point range.

Because of NCAA rules, it was considered a regular-season game for the Zags and an exhibition for the Mountaineers.

EOU kept the game close for the opening four minutes, trailing just 12-9 before turnovers led to a pair of fast-break dunks, the first by Timme, as Gonzaga started to pull away.

Gonzaga led 58-28 at the half, shooting 75 percent (24 of 32) against the much-smaller Mountaineers.

GU forced 13 first-half turnovers, converting those in 18 points and had a 17-0 edge in fast-break points heading into the intermission, with six dunks.

–Field Level Media