No. 13 MBB Rolls in Exhibition Win Over Thompson Rivers
SPOKANE, Wash. – No. 13 Gonzaga got double-figure scoring performances from three newcomers and rolled to a 95-69 exhibition win over Thompson Rivers on Saturday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Senior Byron Wesley led GU with 15 points, while freshman Domantas Sabonis had 14 and Kyle Wiltjer added 13. All three were in a Zag uniform for the first time, Wesley coming from USC, Wiltjer from Kentucky and Sabonis starting his collegiate career.
“I thought the new guys came in and played well,” head coach Mark Few said. “I thought Domas [Sabonis] did well, and Byron [Wesley] really scored it tonight. Josh Perkins played well. He didn’t look like the stage bothered him at all.”
Gonzaga was efficient from the field, shooting .600 overall and .533 (10-19) from the three-point line. Sabonis was 6-for-8 from the floor and grabbed five rebounds to help the Zags outrebound the Wolfpack 41-31. Wesley led GU with eight boards and Wiltjer and Gary Bell Jr. each added seven.
TRU hung with the Zags for the first nine minutes, closing to within three at 17-14, but a 17-2 run that included two Bell threes effectively put GU well out in front. Wesley racked up 11 points in the first half and Bell had nine.
In the second half, GU pushed the lead to as many as 28 after a seven-minute stretch in which they turned up the defense to outscore TRU 23-9. The spark off the bench came from walk-on Connor Griffin, who came in to score seven points in the final six minutes. Griffin showed his leaping ability with two huge dunks that came on the fastbreak after a steal.
Overall, GU outscored the Wolfpack 48-18 in the paint and 29-8 on the fastbreak.
Gonzaga will play its first regular season home game on Nov. 14 in Spokane, Wash., against Sacramento State. The tip is schedule for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised on KHQ and ROOT Sports.
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