Cougs Pounce On The Zags; Watch KHQ's Team Coverage
PULLMAN, Wash. - The scoreboard didn't work at Friel Court. As it turns out, that wasn't the only thing that wasn't functional Wednesday night. Gonzaga was held without a point for the game's first 7:20 and never recovered as Washington State routed its Inland Northwest rivals, 81-59.
Both Gonzaga and WSU got off to a slow start. The first points of the game didn't come until 17:30, and they were two free throws by the Cougars. Erasing that goose egg must have lit a fire under WSU; the team went on to take an early 16-5 lead while Gonzaga continued to struggle.
The Bulldogs missed their first nine shots and turned the ball over five times in the first seven minutes. Their first points came on Steven Gray's three-pointer. Gonzaga couldn't string anything together and watched Washington State hit bucket after bucket.
Klay Thompson paced the Cougar offense, draining four 3-pointers on the way to a 24-point night. WSU stormed out to a 30-13 lead, but saw that advantage dwindle down to just six points when Gonzaga closed the first half on an 18-5 run.
The Bulldogs shot 31.8% from the field in the first half; center Rob Sacre scored six points, a team high for Gonzaga in the first 20 minutes. The Cougars weren't much better shooting 34.4% from the field. What allowed WSU to take a 30-24 lead into the half was their three-point shooting and ball handling. The Cougars made 6-11 three pointers and only turned the ball over four times, seven less than Gonzaga.
Gonzaga good end to the first half didn't continue in the second. They shot 46.2% from the field; a dismal number compared to WSU's 67.9%. The Bulldogs also chipped in another 14 turnovers, and the Cougars capitalized, scoring 19 points.
The Cougars outscored Gonzaga 51-35 after the break to pull away. Their largest lead of the night was 29 points and that came with 2:43 left in the game.
The Cougars improve to 6-1 with the victory while the Bulldogs fall to 4-4.
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