No. 8 Gonzaga routs Texas Southern 84-42
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)—What amazed Gonzaga coach Mark Few about his eighth-ranked Bulldogs’ 84-42 demolition of winless Texas Southern was that the game was even played after almost two feet of snow fell on the city Thursday.
It was a battle just to get to the arena on streets so choked with snow that authorities were urging people to stay home.
“I shoveled for six hours today, until an hour before game time,” Few said.
It may have been cold outside, but the Zags (8-1) were scorching in posting their best offensive and defensive performance of the season against the overmatched Tigers, who got into Spokane on Wednesday, in the early stages of the storm that dropped more than 23 inches of snow, snarling traffic and shutting down much of the city.
Josh Heytvelt scored 21 points and the Zags made 11-of-17 3-point attempts against Texas Southern (0-10), which has yet to play a home game.
Micah Downs added 14 points, Matt Bouldin 11 and Austin Daye 10 as Gonzaga shot 65.6 percent from the field and set a season high for points scored and a season low for points allowed. They outrebounded Texas Southern 44-22.
Texas Southern scored the first basket of the game, and then saw the Zags go on a 20-2 run to blow it open early. They trailed 53-19 at halftime.
Deandre Hall and Damian Henderson both had nine points for Texas Southern.
Tigers coach Tony Harvey said Gonzaga looked like a potential Final Four team to him.
“I knew it was going to be a difficult match because of all the weapons they have,” Harvey said.
He did praise the effort of his outmanned team, which won’t play its first home game until Dec. 27.
In addition to the weather, Few was also worried how his team would respond to having lost to Arizona in its previous outing.
“We got our defense and our rebounding squared away,” Few said.
It was also unclear how many fans would show up to the McCarthey Athletic Center, which has been sold out since it opened in 2004 and where the Bulldogs have won 55 of 57 games.
“The best effort of the night was the people who showed up here,” Few said.
Guard Jeremy Pargo, who finished with eight assists, got stuck in the snow and had to be rescued by a teammate, Few said.
This was Gonzaga’s first home game since Nov. 18, after six road contests.
Heytvelt scored just six points against Arizona but he was 8-of-13 from the field against Texas Southern. At one point he scored four straight baskets for Gonzaga, including a 3-pointer followed immediately by a flying slam dunk, for a 44-17 lead.
Gonzaga held the Eagles without a field goal for the final 7 minutes of the first half.
The Zags substituted liberally in the second half, as Few wanted to rest his starters in anticipation of Saturday’s game against No. 2 Connecticut in Seattle.
“They’re the most physically imposing team in college basketball, and have experience across the board,” Few said of Connecticut. “They’re a national champion caliber team.”