Gonzaga coasts to 79-40 win over D-III Augustana
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)—Coach Mark Few wanted to make sure his No. 21 Bulldogs did not take it easy against Division III opponent Augustana of Illinois on Wednesday.
Steven Gray scored 12 points and Gonzaga overwhelmed the Vikings 79-40, rebounding from Saturday’s tough loss to Wake Forest. Bol Kong and G.J. Vilarino each added 10 points as 12 different players scored for Gonzaga (7-2).
“Our goal was to play a little bit harder than they did,” Few said.
Augustana shot just 27 percent for the game, including 1 of 21 on 3-point attempts. They made just 5 of 13 from the free throw line and committed 20 turnovers. Kyle Nelson and Matt Pelton led them with eight points each. Troy Rorer had nine rebounds as the Vikings were outrebounded 45-41.
Augustana (5-1), from Rock Island, Ill., was on the schedule because members of the two coaching staffs are friends. The teams had originally talked about playing an exhibition game, but that turned into a regular season game when Gonzaga needed to fill an opening on its schedule.
“It’s an experience to play in one of the great venues in all of college basketball,” said Augustana coach Grey Giovanine. “I hope it serves us well the rest of the season.”
The Vikings are a power in D-III, ranked 15th this week.
But they could do little right against the Zags, starting with the warmup. The Vikings dunked during the warmup, and were assessed a technical. Matt Bouldin made both free throws and the game began with the Vikings already trailing 2-0.
This one was over early, the Zags taking a 20-7 lead on Gray’s 3-pointer midway through the first.
Bouldin, Gonzaga’s leading scorer, bumped heads with an Augustana player in the first half and was on the floor for a couple of minutes. He was able to walk off, but did not play in the second half as a precaution.
Few said Bouldin was feeling woozy after the collision. He will be evaluated Thursday to see if he can play Saturday against Davidson.
Few experimented with various lineups and played lots of freshmen.
The Zags went on a 20-3 run in the final 6 minutes of the first to take a 40-14 lead at halftime. The Vikings shot just 24 percent in the opening half, missing all ten of their 3-point attempts.
The Zags were not challenged in the second half, building a 60-25 lead with 9:25 left.
Gonzaga shot 50 percent from the floor, but struggled at the free throw line for the second consecutive game. They made 17 of 30 from the line, but that didn’t cost them dearly as it did in the 77-75 loss to Wake Forest.
Gonzaga is 66-4 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.
The Bulldogs play Davidson on Saturday during their annual home game in Seattle. Stephen Curry led Davidson to an upset win over Gonzaga in the first round of the 2008 NCAA tournament in the only previous meeting between the teams.