SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Kyle Wiltjer scored 20 points as No. 9 Gonzaga used a big second half to beat scrappy Southeastern Louisiana 76-57 on Tuesday.
Domantas Sabonis added 14 points and Kevin Pangos 12 for Gonzaga (7-0), which trailed after the first half.
Joshua Filmore had 14 points and Zay Jackson and DeVonte Upson each scored 12 for Southeastern Louisiana (2-6) of the Southland Conference.
This was the first game between the two schools
Undersized Southeastern Louisiana played well in the first half, but Gonzaga’s depth and rebounding overwhelmed the Lions in the second half. Gonzaga won the rebound battle 30-21 and shot 53 percent in the game to 49 percent for the Lions.
Trailing by one at halftime, Gonzaga opened the second half with a 9-2 run to take a 41-35 lead. Gary Bell Jr. opened the run with a 3-pointer, and Przemek Karnowski added a dunk.
Wiltjer hit a layup and Byron Wesley completed a 3-point play as Gonzaga built a 46-37 lead.
Gonzaga outscored the Lions 30-4 over the first 12 minutes of the second half, holding them to 2-of-10 shooting over that stretch, to take a 62-37 lead.
Southeastern Louisiana was scoreless for more than 8 minutes before Daniel Grieves hit a pair of free throws with 7 minutes left.
The Lions finally started to sink baskets, going on a 9-2 run to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 64-46, but it was too late.
In the first half, the Lions led 9-7 after the first five minutes behind two baskets from Upson.
Two baskets by Jackson pushed the visitors’ lead to 16-9, as the Zags made only five of their first 13 shots.
Pangos hit a layup to bring the Zags within 23-20, but Jackson replied with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to six.
Pangos and Bell each sank 3-pointers and then Wiltjer’s put-back with 3:44 left in the first gave Gonzaga its first lead since the opening minutes at 28-27.
Upson replied with a dunk and Filmore scored consecutive baskets to put the Lions ahead 33-28.
Southeastern Louisiana led 33-32 at halftime, after shooting 51.9 percent in the first. Jackson had 12 first half points for the Lions.
Southeastern Louisiana: Zay Jackson leads the Lions in scoring at 15.7 ppg … the Lions have lost at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State this season … Coach Jay Ladner is in his first season as an NCAA head coach, after winning community college national title last season.
Gonzaga: Gonzaga in its last game edged St. John’s for the NIT Season Tip-Off title … Gonzaga has a 30-game home winning streak, second longest in the nation … the Zags rank third in the nation with a 54.8 field goal percentage and 20.2 assists per game … the Zags are the only team in the nation that ranks in the top 10 in both field goal percentage and field percentage defense (34.3 percent).
Southeastern Louisiana plays at Southeast Missouri on Saturday.
Gonzaga plays at No. 3 Arizona on Saturday.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.