Absurd efficiency was on display from the Zags at both the offensive and defensive end of the court tonight in Spokane. This game was over well before the half time buzzer sounded.
Gonzaga opened the game with eight straight made field goals while St. Joe's missed its first three shots. It only got worse for the Hawks from there. The Zags' first miss, a Przemek Karnowski lay-up that rattled out, was followed by back-to-back Gary Bell three pointers.
The second of those threes pushed Bell over 1,000 career points. Bell finished with a game high 18 points on 6-8 shooting (5-7 from beyond the arc) — all in the first half.
While Bell was lighting it up on the offensive end, the Zags were absolutely shutting down St. Joe's on the defensive end. The Hawks took 28 shots in the half but made just three. Over the 34 first half possessions they were scoring just 0.24 points per possession. Gonzaga, meanwhile, was clocking 1.46 points per possession in the half.
There is nothing positive to be written about the Hawks' first half performance as Gonzaga took a 48-10 lead into the break.
With the game clearly in hand, Mark Few opted to go with four reserves and Byron Wesley to begin the second half. Stop talking about Kentucky's "platoon" or whatever, Gonzaga's second unit gets it done too.
Josh Perkins led the Zags' bench with 13 points on 6-8 shooting. Domantas Sabonis added 10 of his own while pulling down 11 rebounds. Angel Nunez played 19 minutes with a +/- of 70. All four of the Zags' rotation bench players had +/- of 56 or more.
St. Joe's figured out how to put the ball in the basket over the final 20 minutes, connecting on 12 of 30 field goal attempts — four times as many makes as they had in the first half. The Hawks, like their perpetually wing-flapping mascot, never gave up. That may be the only positive Phil Martelli can take from this game.
Aaron Brown came off the bench and scored a team high 14 points, all in the second half. Brown and the Hawks managed to score, but they weren't able to slow down the Zags.
Gonzaga's 38 point halftime lead was expanded to 52 by the end of the game, despite giving up 32 more points in the second half than they did in the first. This is a team that can score the ball better than maybe any other. Defensively, they'll shut you down until it doesn't matter.
No starter for St. Joe's scored in double-figures.
The Zags scored 94 points in 68 possessions (1.38 PPP).
Gonzaga is now 3-0 on the season. St. Joe's falls to 1-2.