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No. 24 Gonzaga hosts San Diego looking to build momentum in WCC play

Jan. 6—Halftime

A dip in competition or a newfound energy? No matter, Gonzaga has shaken off the funk from its nonconference struggles and leads San Diego 55-35 at halftime, well on their way to a second-straight rout to open WCC play.

The Zags forced 13 turnovers and scored 19 points off of them to build their advantage.

Graham Ike has been a force inside with 15 points and five rebounds, while Nolan Hickman has got it done in the backcourt with 15 points and three 3-pointers. Ben Gregg was a key spark off the bench with nine points, four steals and a block.

First half

0:54 — GU 55, SD 31: GU calls a timeout as Nembhard is called for a foul after he is stripped.

All Zags in the first half, who are on a 10-0 run. Toreros up to 13 turnovers in the half. Ike and Hickman lead with 15 points apiece, while Gregg (nine) closes in on double figures.

3:51 — GU 45, SD 29: Zags keeping their pace as someone on the SD bench is called for a technical foul at the U4 media timeout.

GU will a clear skill advantage over the Toreros, who have no answer for Ike in the post. The Zags forward is up to 15 points and five rebounds.

8:53 — GU 32, SD 18: Huff denies USD's Turner and Nemhbard turns it into an easy layup. Zags with the advantage in fast break points (8-0), paint points (16-4) and points off turnover (10-2).

Seven scorers for GU led by Hickman with eight, while Gregg has added a spark off the bench with seven.

11:39 — GU 23, SD 13: Zags turn up the pressure, force four quick turnovers and capitalize with a 13-3 run at the U12 media timeout.

Hickman leads six GU scorers with eight points on 3 of 6 shooting. Nembhard has not attempted a shot, but has four assists.

15:27 — GU 14, SD 10: Ike makes back-to-back shots to give the Zags the lead at the first media timeout. GU opens 6 of 9 from the field with 3-pointers from Hickman and Stromer.

USD keeping pace, making 4 of their first 5 attempts. Jamerson leads the Toreros with five points.

Stromer's 3 gave the Zags three straight made field goals to open the game.

19:50 — GU 2, SD 0: Zags win the tip and Watson gets things going with an easy dunk.

Pregame

As the Pepperdine Waves washed out of Spokane, Gonzaga will have its mind set on keeping things rolling.

The No. 24 Bulldogs (10-4, 1-0 West Coast) had an easy time beating Pepperdine in their conference opener at the Spokane Arena and return to the Kennel tonight to host San Diego (10-6, 0-1) at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on KHQ and Root Sports.

The Zags struggled at the end of their nonconference schedule, but looked comfortable Thursday, as they usually do in WCC play.

The Toreros appear improved over last year's team that finished second-to-last in the conference. USD some close games in its nonconference, including a Dec. 9 victory over Arizona State (9-5, 3-0 Pac-12).

San Diego played Saint Mary's tough on Thursday, coming within two points early in the second half, before the Gaels pulled away for a 81-70 win.

Series history

Gonzaga holds a 79-21 all-time series lead over San Diego and has won 16 straight since 2014.

Team stats

Individual leaders

Game preview

Key matchup: San Diego guard Deuce Turner riding hot streak

Junior guard Deuce Turner torched the Gaels for 23 first-half points and a career-best 34. That's believed to be the highest scoring game by a WCC player this season, eclipsing Gonzaga's Anton Watson (32 vs. UCLA) and Portland's Vucasin Masik (32 vs. North Dakota). — Read more

More on the Zags

Gonzaga rewind: Bulldogs' stifling defense, Ryan Nembhard's 3-point shooting stand out in Pepperdine win

There's a good chance Gonzaga players, coaches and fans took note of other results around the West Coast Conference after the Bulldogs dispatched Pepperdine 86-60 on Thursday night at the Arena. — Read more

Gonzaga debuting throwback uniforms on Saturday against USD to honor 1998-99 Elite Eight team

Gonzaga's going old school with its uniform selection for Saturday's game against San Diego. — Read more

Graham Ike turns in third straight 20-point game to help Gonzaga cruise past Pepperdine 86-60

It was a 2-minute stretch during the first half that featured something the Zags have grown accustomed to seeing and something they haven't seen nearly enough of in the past six games. — Read more

Gonzaga, CCF express interest in annual contest at the Spokane Arena

Gonzaga has played in front of a packed house at the Spokane Arena each of the last two years and came away with a pair of double-digit victories, which leads to a natural question. Would Gonzaga have interest in a game annually at the Arena? — Read more