Corey Kispert made six 3-pointers as part of a 23-point effort to lead top-ranked Gonzaga to a 98-55 victory over 16th-seeded Norfolk State on Saturday night in NCAA Tournament West region play at Indianapolis.
Anton Watson added 17 points on 7-of-7 shooting to help the Bulldogs (27-0) record their 31st straight win. Watson also had seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Gonzaga continues pursuit of its first national title when it faces eighth-seeded Oklahoma (16-10) in the second round on Monday.
Joel Ayayi added 15 points and nine rebounds and Drew Timme had 10 points for Gonzaga, which shot 55.7 percent from the field and made 14 of 27 3-point attempts. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Spartans 45-22 and led by as many as 49 points while notching their 24th consecutive double-digit victory.
Devante Carter scored 12 points but was just 4-of-17 shooting for Norfolk State (17-8), which had a seven-game winning streak snapped. Kyonze Chavis also tallied 12 points and had four steals for the Spartans, who dropped to 2-2 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
Norfolk State shot 30.6 percent from the field and hit 7 of 21 from 3-point range.
The Spartans hung with the Bulldogs for the first seven-plus minutes and held an 11-10 lead after a basket by Kashaun Hicks with 12:41 left in the first half.
Watson answered with three consecutive baskets and Aaron Cook and Kispert followed with 3-pointers during a 12-0 surge that gave Gonzaga an 11-point lead with 9:40 remaining.
The Spartans were within 24-16 after a three-point play by Jalen Hawkins with 8:33 left. But Ayayi responded with a 3-pointer to jumpstart a 16-2 push as the Bulldogs elevated the lead to 40-18 with 4:15 remaining.
The Zags held a 43-23 halftime lead behind Kispert’s 15 points. But they turned things up a notch early in the second half with a 13-0 surge that was capped by Kispert’s layup to make it 61-27 with 13:07 left.
Watson’s corner 3-pointer pushed the margin to 40 at 72-32 with 9:25 remaining and Gonzaga cruised to the finish.
–Field Level Media