Home USA News Big 1st half leads No. 6 Gonzaga past Portland State, 102-78

Big 1st half leads No. 6 Gonzaga past Portland State, 102-78

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PORTLAND — Malachi Smith led six players in double figures with a season-high 23 points and No. 6 Gonzaga used a big first half to beat Portland State 102-78 on Thursday night at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the first round of the Phil Knight Legacy. tournament.

The Bulldogs (4-1) led by 27 in the first half, led 55-31 at halftime and endured a sloppy second half.

Smith was the Southern Conference MVP last season in Chattanooga, but has yet to score in his Zags debut. It finally happened against the Vikings, when Smith made 9 of 12 shots and all five of his 3-point attempts.

Drew Thiem scored 18 points and the only shot he missed was a dunk attempt midway through the second half. Racier Bolton had 14 points and eight assists, while Julian Strother, Anton Watson and Hunter Sallis each had 10. Gonzaga shot 60 percent for the game.

Jorrell Satterfield led Portland State (2-3) with 21 points and Cameron Parker added 16. Fresh off an upset win at Oregon State, the Vikings hung with the Zags for about 10 minutes before Gonzaga pulled away.

Portland State trailed just 18-16 after Isaiah Kirby’s layup, but Gonzaga scored 32 of the next 41 points and it was a mix of all the key pieces. Tim had several baskets. Bolton has seven points. Smith made three of three.

Gonzaga shot 66 percent in the first half and had three players in double figures by halftime.

But the performance in the second half clearly did not sit well with Gonzaga coach Mark Few, who was particularly disappointed by the sloppiness. In the second half, the Bulldogs still had most of the kickoffs on the floor. Portland State cut the deficit to 16 a few times, but couldn’t get any closer.

THE BIG PICTURE

Portland State: The Vikings went 1-2 in this tournament when it was held five years ago, giving Duke a first-round scare and beating Stanford on the final day. These Vikings would love to get a similar result this time around.

Gonzaga: In the semifinals, the Bulldogs will face a major challenge in Purdue’s 7-foot-4 center Zach Eady. Thiem probably won’t have it as easy as he did against Portland, but he had 22 points and seven rebounds in last week’s win over Kentucky.

FURTHER

Portland State will play West Virginia in the consolation game on Friday.

Gonzaga will face No. 24 Purdue in the semifinals on Friday.

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