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Difference makers: Graham Ike, Ryan Nembhard lead Gonzaga past Santa Clara

Feb. 24—Graham Ike

Ike played just 17 minutes and fouled out with five points in Gonzaga's 77-76 loss at Santa Clara last month. In the rematch, Ike scored six points in the first 9 minutes. For the fifth consecutive game, Ike led GU in scoring and surpassed the 20-point mark with a season-high 26-point effort. He made 9 of 13 field goals, 8 of 9 free throws and grabbed seven rebounds operating against Santa Clara's deep and talented frontcourt.

Ryan Nembhard

Nembhard had another smooth night directing Gonzaga's attack. The junior point guard was efficient while scoring 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field. He added six rebounds and six assists — his sixth straight game with at least six assists. He was in rare foul trouble, picking up his third early in the second half and his fourth with 3:08, but still logged 34 minutes.

Turning point

Gonzaga was stuck in a scoring drought of more than 3 minutes and 30 seconds and a 10-point lead had been cut in half. Ben Gregg fired a crosscourt pass to freshman Dusty Stromer, who buried a corner 3-pointer. On the next possession, Nolan Hickman shook a defender with a pull-up 3, and the Zags led 62-51. Ike, Stromer and Anton Watson added field goals as GU's 13-4 run stretched the lead to 69-55 with 11:46 remaining.