Zags win opener against U. of Montana 77- 54 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Zags win opener against U. of Montana 77- 54

SPOKANE, Wash. - Freshman Austin Daye scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help No. 14 Gonzaga open its season by beating Montana 77-54 on Sunday.

Gonzaga largely smothered the Montana offense, and coach Mark Few was able to give plenty of minutes to his bench players. The Bulldogs made 53 percent of their field goals and 15 of 21 free throws. They also dominated the boards with 40 rebounds to the Grizs' 29.

Montana is expected to be one of the top contenders in the Big Sky Conference, but the Griz slumped early with poor shooting, and never threatened after that. The Grizzlies were led by Matt Martin's 18 points. Montana made just 30 percent of their shots, including 5 of 22 three-pointers.

Once a member of the Big Sky, Gonzaga leads the series 101-48. Montana has not won since 1996, and has lost nine straight in the series.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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