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No. 3 Gonzaga beats Memphis at home for 1st time

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Przemek Karnowski scored 17 points and Kyle Wiltjer added 15 to help No. 3 Gonzaga beat Memphis 82-64 on Saturday night for its 15th straight victory.

Domantas Sabonis had 13 points and 11 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double. The trio went 16 of 26 from the floor to help Gonzaga dominate Memphis inside for its first home victory over the Tigers in four attempts.

Kevin Pangos had 11 points and Gary Bell Jr. added 10 for Gonzaga (22-1). The Bulldogs are off to their best start in program history, topping the 2012-13 season when they opened 17-1.

Gonzaga leads the nation in field goal percentage at 52.7 percent and hit 26 of 47 shots against Memphis for 55.3.

Nick King came off the bench and had 13 points for Memphis (13-8). Austin Nichols added 12, eight coming in the second half. He had 21 and 17 during the Tigers’ two-game winning streak.

Memphis made just one of its first eight shots and trailed 9-2. Its third basket of the half, a 3-pointer by Markel Crawford, started a 10-5 run to cut it to 18-15.

But Gonzaga answered with a 20-7 run, on six layups and eight free throws, for a 36-22 lead. Memphis went 4-plus minutes without a field goal during the spurt, ended by Nichols’ basket — his second field goal in nine attempts.

Gonzaga was 14 of 23 (60.9 percent) from the field in the first half and held a 43-25 lead at the break. The Bulldogs attempted just four 3-pointers as they controlled the paint, outscoring Memphis 24-12.

Memphis was held to 9-of-35 shooting in the first 20 minutes and went to the line eight times compared to Gonzaga’s 18 attempts.

Nichols scored six of Memphis’ first 10 points of the second half, cutting the deficit to 15 points. But Byron Wesley, Bell and Wiltjer hit three consecutive 3-pointers, Gonzaga’s fourth of the second half after just two before halftime, for a 22-point lead.

Memphis cut it to 14 points with 7:05 left, but Eric McClellan and Bell hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 70-50 lead.

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TIP-INS

Memphis: The Tigers played in Gonzaga’s on-campus arena, the McCarthey Athletic Center, for the first time in the nine-game series. The three previous trips to Spokane, all wins, were held at the downtown Spokane Arena.

Gonzaga: Gonzaga owns the nation’s longest home winning streak, at 38 in a row, after No. 4 Duke lost to Miami earlier in the year. Duke beat No. 2 Virginia 69-63 on the road Saturday night.

UP NEXT

Memphis: hosts Jacksonville State on Wednesday night.

Gonzaga: plays at Santa Clara on Thursday night.

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