Men’s basketball was ‘every bit as advertised’ in battle with nationally-ranked Gonzaga

Jacob Shondel, Reporter

Going into this week, Gonzaga’s men’s basketball team had won 68 consecutive home games.

Monday was no different as the No. 18 ranked team defeated Kent State 73-66.

This was the third time the Flashes scored over 30 points in the paint this season. They finished with 34.

“They were every bit as advertised,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “We watched them take Houston down to the final on the road. They were really good, and I’ve been on my scheduling guy about this game.”

Kent State falls to 6-3 on the season, and Gonzaga improves to 6-3.

It kept going back and forth

In the game’s first eight minutes, KSU and GU traded brackets and were tied 17-17. The Flashes recorded eight points in the paint – the Bulldogs started the game 3-of-6 from three.

Over the next eight minutes, Gonzaga went on a 14-8 scoring run, bringing its lead to 31-25.

The Bulldogs lead at the half 40-34.

Redshirt senior guard Malique Jacobs, who recorded nine points and two steals, led KSU in scorin\g by halftime.

Gonzaga’s senior forward Drew Timme led all players with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Kent State and the Bulldogs combined for 42 points in the paint in the first 20 minutes.

KSU shot 40.6% from the field and made one 3-pointer. GU shot 50% and converted on four shots from behind the arc.

Timme picked up where he left, scoring six of the Bulldog’s first nine points to start the half. The lead was now 49-42.

KSU answered with a 10-2 scoring run to take its first lead in the second half, 52-51. After giving up two quick baskets to the Bulldogs, the Flashes scored seven straight points, leading 59-55.

With 4:27 remaining in the game, Jacobs made two free throws to give Kent State a 63-62 lead.

Forty-eight seconds later, redshirt senior Miryne Thomas made his fourth 3-pointer. The lead was now 66-62.

GU responded with a 9-0 run, giving them a 71-66 lead. Kent State was held scoreless in the finale 3:41 of the game.

Junior Gonzaga guard Julian Strawther said he knew this game would be a “dog fight.”

“We saw what they did against Houston and knew what they’re capable of,” he said. “We weren’t going to take them lightly. Kudos to them. They’re a really great team, and I know they’ll have success going throughout the season.”

Thomas led the Flashes with 16 points and four 3-pointers. Redshirt senior guard Sincere Carry shot 4-of-15, scoring 10 points and recording a team-high six assists.

Timme led all players with 29 points and 17 rebounds. Strawther totaled 14 points and eight rebounds.

Still on the road

Kent State will stay on the road, taking on Cleveland State at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Vikings, who have won six consecutive games, are 6-3 on the season and average 71 points per game. KSU has allowed its opponent to score more than 70 points two times this season.

CSU is led by junior forward Tristan Enaruna, who averages 12.6 points per game

Jacob Shondel is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].