NORTHERN ARIZONA

Northern Arizona falls to No. 1 Gonzaga by 30

Dec 28, 2020, 10:14 PM

(Facebook photo/NorthernArizonaBasketball)...

(Facebook photo/NorthernArizonaBasketball)

(Facebook photo/NorthernArizonaBasketball)

SPOKANE, Wash. — Joel Ayayi had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Drew Timme added 14 points and top-ranked Gonzaga beat Northern Arizona 88-58 on Monday night.

Andrew Nembhard finished with 10 points and seven assists for Gonzaga (8-0), which has the nation’s longest home winning streak at 42 games.

Cameron Shelton scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Northern Arizona (1-6), which was undone by 35% shooting. Jay Green had 12 points.

Gonzaga used to play the Lumberjacks regularly when both were in the Big Sky Conference, but this was only their second meeting since 1979.

Freshman star Jalen Suggs did not play for Gonzaga due to a right leg injury, the team said.

The Zags didn’t need him.

Ayayi scored nine points as Gonzaga jumped to a 28-8 lead after eight minutes. The Zags made 12 of their first 16 shots.

Gonzaga pushed the lead to 36-14 with just under seven minutes left in the first half, dominating the Lumberjacks in the paint 20-8.

Ayayi had 14 points and nine rebounds at halftime, as the Zags led 51-23.

Northern Arizona was hampered by 22.9% shooting, making just eight of 35 shots. Green had 10 points at the break for the Lumberjacks.

Gonzaga opened the second half with a 14-4 run to take a 65-27 lead with 14 minutes left. The Zags sent in their bench players after that.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Zags were coming off a 98-75 win Saturday over then-No. 16 Virginia in Fort Worth, Texas. That gave them a poll-record four wins over ranked teams in their first seven games. They do not have another currently ranked team on their schedule, and have a good chance to extend their seven-week stay at No. 1. It’s the longest stint in program history.

BIG PICTURE

Northern Arizona: The Lumberjacks were coming off their first win of the season at Denver. They are led by Shelton, who averages 19.7 points per game.

Gonzaga: Corey Kispert was selected the West Coast Conference player of the week after scoring 77 points, including a career-high 32 against Virginia, in three victories. That bumped his season average to a team-high 22.4 points per outing. Meanwhile, Suggs was the WCC freshman of the week for the third time. He totaled 39 points, 20 rebounds, 18 assists and eight steals in three games.

UP NEXT

Northern Arizona plays at Idaho on Thursday.

Gonzaga hosts Dixie State on Tuesday.

Northern Arizona

South Carolina celebrates winning an NCAA Championship...

Associated Press

NCAA women’s title between South Carolina, Iowa was most-watched hoops game in 5 years

South Carolina's victory over Iowa in the women's NCAA championship game had a preliminary audience average of 18.7 million on ABC and ESPN.

7 days ago

Caitlin Clark and members of the Iowa women's basketball team celebrate their Final Four win over U...

Associated Press

Caitlin Clark leads Iowa rally for win over UConn in women’s Final Four

Caitlin Clark scored 21 points and made three big 3-pointers in the second half to rally Iowa past Paige Bueckers and UConn, 71-69.

11 days ago

Caitlin Clark celebrates...

Associated Press

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark is inspiring a younger generation of players

Caitlin Clark's deep range has expanded the scope of possibilities for up-and-coming women's basketball players.

20 days ago

Nothern Arizona University logo (NAU)...

Associated Press

Nothern Arizona football hires former Pittsburg State coach Brian Wright

Northern Arizona has hired former Pittsburg State coach Brian Wright as its next football coach to replace Chris Ball.

4 months ago

Northern Arizona head football coach Chris Ball...

Arizona Sports

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks part with football coach Chris Ball

The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks opted against renewing the contract of head football coach Chris Ball on Monday.

5 months ago

Bryce Drew...

Associated Press

Grand Canyon basketball opens 2023-24 with win; Northern Arizona falls to UConn

Tyon Grant-Foster's 30 points led Grand Canyon past Southeast Missouri State on Monday night in a season opener.

5 months ago

Northern Arizona falls to No. 1 Gonzaga by 30