Difference makers: Graham Ike's second-half surge helps Gonzaga stave off San Francisco

Jan. 25—Graham Ike

Foul trouble limited the big man to just 12 minutes in the first half, but the Zags started to force the ball to Ike coming out of halftime. After scoring three points on three shot attempts in the first half, Ike scored seven points inside the first 5 minutes of the second half and scored 17 after halftime to finish with a game-high 22. During a productive second half, the transfer forward also hauled down six of his seven rebounds and blocked one shot. Ike was perfect from the free-throw line in the second half (9 of 9) and finished 10 of 11 from the line on a night that saw the rest of the team go 12 of 23. It marked the sixth time Ike's scored at least 20 points this season and fifth time in the last eight games

Ndewedo Newbury

Newbury didn't give the Zags many issues in four previous matchups the past two seasons, scoring just 11 total points in those games. The 6-foot-7 junior was a handful for Gonzaga this time, though, and led the Dons' offense on a night when top scorer Jonathan Mogbo was held to 4-of-6 shooting from the field and eight points. Newbury hit two 3-pointers for USF and finished with 16 points — the fourth-highest-scoring game of his career — to go with six rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots before fouling out inside the final 3 minutes. The London native finished 6 of 13 from the field, 2 of 6 from the 3-point line and 2 of 3 from the free throw stripe.

Turning point

The Zags had a few important sequences that helped them pull away from the Dons late in the second half. With roughly 7 minutes left, Ike checked back in and immediately received the ball a few feet outside the paint, using a drop step to elude his defender and coast to the hoop for a two-handed dunk. That opened up a four-point Gonzaga lead. Anton Watson boosted it to six when he converted a one-handed circus shot on the following possession, forcing the Dons to use a timeout. The Zags broke the game open a few minutes later when Ben Gregg knocked down a 3-pointer, Watson made a running floater and Ike scored on a fallaway jumper on consecutive possessions to give the home team an 11-point lead.