Gonzaga opens regular season Friday vs. Texas Southern - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gonzaga opens regular season Friday vs. Texas Southern

Photo: Gonzaga Athletics Photo: Gonzaga Athletics
By Gonzaga Athletics
No. 18/19 Gonzaga (0-0) vs. Texas Southern (0-0)
RADIO: Gonzaga IMG Radio Network
- This is the third all-time meeting between Texas Southern (Houston) and Gonzaga.
- The Zags won the previous two meetings, both were played in Spokane.
- GU won the last meeting between the programs, 94-54, in Spokane on Dec. 14, 2014.
- Kyle Wiltjer scored a game-high 21 points for the then-ranked No. 8 Zags.
- The only current GU player that played in the game, Silas Melson, scored 13 with a pair of steals.
- The Zags made 63.6 percent from the field, including 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from three-point range.
- The Bulldogs won the first meeting, 84-42, on Dec. 18, 2008.
- Josh Heytvelt paced GU with 21 points for the No. 7/8 Zags. Micah Downs added 14 points for the Bulldogs.
- Friday’s game will be the first of the season for Texas Southern. The Tigers did not have an exhibition game this season.
- TSU’s non-conference schedule is one of the more impressive in the country. After Gonzaga, the Tigers’ nonconference slate features road games at Ohio State, Syracuse, Kansas, Oregon, Baylor, TCU and BYU.
- Texas Southern doesn’t play a home game until 2018, when it hosts Southern to open SWAC play.
- The Tigers and Gonzaga both had their season’s end with losses to North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament in 2017.
- TSU went 23-12, a record with five more victories than the previous season, to go along with a 16-2 conference mark, a record they matched from the previous year. Texas Southern fell to top-seeded UNC, 103-64, in the first round.
- The Tigers were selected as the Southwestern Athletic Conference preseason favorite. TSU has won four of the last five SWC regular season titles, including the last three, along with three of the last four SWAC Tournament titles.
- Texas Southern’s Demontrae Jefferson and Kevin Scott were each selected to the All-SWAC Preseason First Team.
- Jefferson was sixth in the conference in scoring with 14.8 points per contest and fourth in assists (3.3 per game).
- Scott averaged 10.0 points per game (23rd) to go along with 4.9 rebounds per game (11th) and was 10th in field goal percentage (.442) and 10th in steals (1.3 per game).
- The second team included Lamont Walker who saw action for the Tigers last season in a reserve capacity.
- After coaching at Indiana and Alabama-Birmingham, Mike Davis returns for his sixth season as head coach. He is one win shy of 100 at Texas Southern. He is 336-221 (.603) as a head coach.
- The Zags have won 13 straight regular season-openers dating back to a 73-66 loss to Saint Joseph’s in the 2003 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York City.
- Last season, the Bulldogs opened a 29-0 start to the season with a 92-69 win over Utah Valley in Spokane.
- Silas Melson scored a team-high 17 points with four assists.
- Gonzaga has won 28 consecutive regular season home-openers since a 73-65 loss to Boise State on Dec. 7, 1988.
- GU has won all 13 regular season home-openers in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
- The Bulldogs have won all 18 regular season home-openers under Mark Few.
- The Zags opened the season with a 96-67 victory over The College of Idaho Saturday.
- Killian Tillie made all 11 of his shots from the field, including 3-of-3 from three-point range, and scored a game-high 28 points. He also four steals and pulled down four rebounds in 22 minutes.
- Johnathan Williams was 6-of-8 from the field with 18 points. He also had six boards and two blocks. Zach Norvell Jr. made five three-pointers and finished with 17 points. Jacob Larsen and Corey Kispert chipped in 12 and 10 points respectively.
- Rui Hachimura and Silas Melson both grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists.
- Gonzaga finished with 23 assists in the win, matching the 2016-17 Zags’ season-high for assists in a game.
- GU dominated near the basket, outscoring the Yotes 46-20 in the paint. The Bulldogs’ bench outscored their counterparts, 57-30.
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