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Feb. 22, 2024

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No. 7 Gonzaga cruises past Arkansas-Pine Bluff 111-71

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Gonzaga forward Anton Watson (22) goes up for a dunk during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, in Spokane, Wash. Gonzaga won 111-71.
Gonzaga forward Anton Watson (22) goes up for a dunk during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, in Spokane, Wash. Gonzaga won 111-71. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Photo Gallery

SPOKANE — Braden Huff scored 19 points, Graham Ike added 17 points in 17 minutes, and No. 7 Gonzaga cruised past Arkansas-Pine Bluff 111-71 on Tuesday night.

Huff was named West Coast Conference freshman of the week after scoring 12 points in consecutive games last week, including Gonzaga’s 89-76 win over Southern California in Las Vegas on Saturday.

“He’s got a knack for scoring,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “He’s got soft hands like some of the great bigs we’ve had over the years. Kind of like Drew (Timme), the ball just goes in.”

Five players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs and 11 total scored points as the Bulldogs (7-1) rolled to their fifth straight win since their lone loss against No. 2 Purdue at the Maui Invitational. Anton Watson finished with 15 points and Nolan Hickman added 13 as the Zags shot 57% and outscored the Golden Lions 60-8 in the paint.

Gonzaga led 32-4 after just eight minutes as it knocked down 14 of its first 18 shots while Arkansas-Pine Bluff (4-6) missed its first 14 attempts.

Jun Seok Yeo added 10 points for the Zags and made his first start as freshman Dusty Stromer came off the bench after starting the first seven games. Stromer still played 24 minutes and had eight points.

“I thought they did a good job playing the game right, executing at a high level,” Few said. “They were just focused and business-like. I thought it was a mature approach from our whole team.”

Huff had 12 points and Ike had 11 in the first half as the duo combined to make 11 of 15 shots and staked the Zags to a 59-30 halftime lead.

The Golden Lions shot just 9 of 34 in the first half. Gonzaga led by as many as 49 in the second half.

“They played it the right way and basically got a practice in the way they cleared the bench,” Arkansas-Pine Bluff coach Solomon Bozeman said. “Tonight was a learning experience for our team and our staff, getting to see what an elite team looks like.”

Joe French led Arkansas-Pine Bluff with a season-high 26 points on eight 3s. Rashad Williams added 17 points and Kylen Milton scored 13.

BIG PICTURE

Arkansas-Pine Bluff: The Golden Lions were picked to finish 10th in the SWAC’s preseason poll. They will play their third straight game against a Top 25 team on Saturday before getting into their conference schedule.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have won 10 consecutive home games since their NCAA-best 76-game home win streak was snapped on Jan. 20 by Loyola Marymount. Gonzaga has reached 100 points in three of its last four home games dating back to last season.

UP NEXT

Gonzaga is at Washington on Saturday.

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