Gonzaga rolls past No. 25 Creighton 91-74 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gonzaga rolls past No. 25 Creighton 91-74

Photo: Gonzaga Athletics Photo: Gonzaga Athletics

By Spokane Chiefs
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Gonzaga freshman Zach Norvell Jr. missed all five of his shots in the first half.

He didn't miss many in the second half.

Norvell scored all 21 of his points in the second as No. 15 Gonzaga rallied to beat No. 25 Creighton 91-74 on Friday night.

''Staying aggressive. Staying positive,'' Norvell said of his turnaround, which helped Gonzaga erase a 7-point halftime deficit. ''The coaching staff told me to keep shooting.''

Norvell made 4 of 5 3-point attempts in the second half, and added six rebounds and three assists.

''He had a huge game tonight,'' said Killian Tillie, who led Gonzaga with 22 points. ''He was making crazy shots.''

Silas Melson had 21 points and Johnathan Williams added 15 for Gonzaga (7-1).

''A great, great win,'' coach Mark Few said. ''There was a tremendous response from our guys after the half, especially on the defensive end.''

Creighton led 44-37 at halftime, after shooting 58 percent. But the Bluejays were outscored 54-30 in the second half as their shooting percentage dropped to 37.9 while the Zags were making better than 62 percent of their shots.

Marcus Foster had 21 points for Creighton (5-2), which has already beaten No. 20 Northwestern and No. 23 UCLA and lost to No. 22 Baylor this season. Khyri Thomas added 18.

Gonzaga went on a 20-4 run to open the second half and built a 57-48 lead. Creighton had five turnovers during the run.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Norvell put Gonzaga up 63-53.

Norvell hit two more 3s to push Gonzaga's lead to 81-71 with less than 5 minutes left. Gonzaga gradually extended the lead.

''Our plan was to attack the rim,'' Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. ''But we went away from that in the second half.'

''For 20 minutes we were really good,'' McDermott said. ''We were locked in defensively and executing offensively.''

The first half was nip and tuck for most of the 20 minutes. Creighton hit four consecutive 3-pointers late in the first to take a 34-29 lead.

Gonzaga made a run, but the Bluejays scored the last five points to take a 44-37 lead. They shot 58 percent in the first half, including 7 of 14 on 3-pointers, before cooling off in the second. Foster had 15 first-half points for Creighton.

The teams, both from Jesuit universities, have not played since 1977 and this is their first meeting in Spokane.

Gonzaga is 183-17 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.

''It's hard to get and keep momentum in a building like this,'' McDermott said of the noisy Kennel.

DEFENSIVE STALWARTS

Gonzaga has held 64 consecutive opponents under 50 percent from the field, dating to 2015. Creighton shot 48.3 percent for the game.

BOARD WARRIORS

Gonzaga won the rebound battle 36-27, led by Killie's eight.

BIG PICTURE

Creighton: The Bluejays were playing their fourth ranked team in five outings. Their schedule appears to get easier going forward, as they have five consecutive home games against unranked opponents. The Bluejays, of the Big East, came in averaging 92.5 points per game, 10th in the nation.

Gonzaga: This figured to be the best non-conference home game on the Bulldogs' schedule. Gonzaga has six players averaging at least 10 points per game. Starting guard Corey Kispert did not play because of an ankle injury.

UP NEXT

Creighton hosts North Dakota on Tuesday.

Gonzaga plays No. 4 Villanova, another Big East team, at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday. ''We need to rest up and start gearing up for that one,'' Few said. ''That's a great program with unbelievable toughness and resolve to win.''

  • College

    • Grizzly Sports Report: October 17, 2018

      Watch the eighth episode of the Grizzly Sports Report! Head coach Bobby Hauck joins show hosts Shaun Rainey and Riley Corcoran after Montana gets beat up on the road against North Dakota, losing 41-14, to bring their overall record to 4-3 on the year. They talk about turning the ball over on three straight possessions to start the game, and how the team could never get into their gameplan, They also take a look at the upcoming bye week by talking a lot about the recruit...

    • Rocky forfeits first win of the season to Carroll

      Rocky Mountain College has forfeited its first win of the season to Carroll College.

    • #20 Rocky Rolls Over MSU Northern 51-7

      This is the second victory of the season for the Battlin' Bears in as many games. They return home on September 8 to play region-rival Dickinson State in the Hall of Fame Game. Kickoff begins at 1 p.m.

    • Super 8 Plays of the Week 8/27

      Check out the top plays from the first week of high school and college sports!

    • Rocky Reviewing QB Situation After Three Play in Opener

      The Battlin' Bears may or may not play three quarterbacks again in their second game against MSU Northern.

    • #20 Rocky Mountain Defense Looms Large in Shutout Over Carroll

      Rocky will be back in action on September 1 when they travel to Havre to take on MSU Northern.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/