Williams-Goss leads No. 8 Gonzaga over Washington 98-71
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss knew that playing against his old teammates from Washington would be difficult.
Williams-Goss scored 23 points as No. 8 Gonzaga beat poor-shooting Washington 98-71 on Wednesday night in a resumption of their cross-state rivalry.
''I had to block it out,'' Williams-Goss said. ''I wanted to approach it like any other game.''
Williams-Goss, a junior who played for Washington before transferring to Gonzaga and becoming eligible this season, made 9 of 13 shots against his former team. He added five rebounds and five assists.
''I'm proud of his maturity,'' Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. ''Nigel is steady.''
Przemek Karnowski added 17 points and Jordan Mathews had 14 for Gonzaga (9-0), which dominated from the opening minutes.
Freshman Markelle Fultz had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Washington (4-4), which has lost three straight. The Huskies came in averaging 88 points per game.
''They are a well-oiled machine,'' Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said of Gonzaga. ''You can't make mistakes against them.''
Noah Dickerson had 12 points and 15 rebounds for Washington, which shot just 30 percent for the game. Gonzaga shot 53 percent.
''Our big emphasis this week was defense,'' Williams-Goss said, and the Zags clamped down early.
Johnathan Williams scored Gonzaga's first three baskets and Mathews added consecutive 3-pointers as the Zags jumped to a 16-4 lead.
Mathews' hit another 3-pointer as Gonzaga pushed the lead to 27-6. Washington made only two of its first 16 shots.
Gonzaga led 35-10, after shooting 73 percent from the field, while Washington made just four of its first 25 shots.
Mathews had 14 points as Gonzaga led 47-22 at halftime, after making 64 percent of its shots from the field. Washington shot just 21 percent (9 of 42) and missed all seven of its 3-point attempts. But the Huskies did have a 17-0 advantage in offensive rebounds at halftime.
''We didn't rebound the way we expect to,'' Few said after Gonzaga was outrebounded 54-42 in the game. Washington finished with 29 offensive boards.
Washington's shooting picked up early in the second half, but so did Gonzaga's and the Huskies could not make up any ground. Silas Melson's 3-pointer lifted Gonzaga to a 68-34 lead.
The teams first played in 1910, and have played intermittently ever since. Washington ended the home-and-home series in 2006, after Gonzaga won eight of the previous nine games.
Washington and Gonzaga actually renewed their rivalry in the Bahamas last season in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, an 80-64 Gonzaga win.
Washington's last victory in Spokane occurred in 1944.
Washington: Fultz came in averaging 22.7 points per game, 13th in the nation and tops by a freshman, while four other Huskies score in double digits. Washington is third in the nation with 7.7 blocks per game. The Huskies seek to end a five-year drought in going to the NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have been to the NCAA Tournament every year since 1999. They last opened 9-0 in the 2013 season, before losing to Illinois. Six Zags are averaging at least 9 points per game, led by Josh Perkins at 13.1 ppg.
The Huskies still lead the all-time series 29-16, with their last win in 2005.
Washington made just 5 of 20 from 3-point range. Gonzaga had 21 assists to seven for the Huskies. Gonzaga outscored Washington 46-28 in the paint.
Washington hosts Nevada on Sunday.
Gonzaga hosts Akron on Saturday.
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