Put Gonzaga’s roster in a hat and pick a name out.
Chances are you’ll land on someone that can beat you. Do the same with Washington’s roster and you’re in trouble unless you’re holding super freshman Markelle Fultz’s name.
That helps explain the Zags’ dominant 98-71 win over the Huskies Wednesday night. A balanced, efficient scoring effort began early.
Jonathan Williams (9 points) started the game with seven straight points, before handing the reigns to Jordan Matthews (14 points), who scored nine straight of his own. At other points throughout the blowout win, Przemek Karnowski (17 points) dominated the low post and Nigel Williams-Goss (23 points, 9-13 FG) got to the rim with little resistance.
Gonzaga was able to build a 25-point halftime lead by holding the Huskies to 21.4 percent shooting, and by limiting Fultz to 3-for-14 from the floor (though a portion of these misses came on missed tip-ins). The star freshman finished with 25 points on 10-of-26 shooting.
The Zags do not have a dynamic talent like Fultz, and that could bite them against great defenses. But their passing may not get enough credit, and they may need to rely on ball movement, spacing and cutting in those situations.
Despite being in the middle of pack in team assist percentage thus far, they’ve shown great passing potential, in no small part due to Karnowski’s brilliant court vision. Against the Huskies the Zags assisted on 21 of their 35 made field goals. They aren’t at the level of Saint Mary’s, but few are.
This was the first time the teams had met in Spokane since Dec. 9, 2006, a game the Zags won by 20 points. The coaches were the same, but as so often has been the case, Few is on the higher current trajectory.
Wednesday’s win was yet another sign that this Zags team has the pieces to go higher than any other in program history.