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Gonzaga Hosts Washington in College Hoops

Gonzaga Basketball

Top-Ranked Zags’ Host Dangerous Huskies Squad

Top-Ranked Gonzaga returns home Wednesday to face a dangerous Washington squad. This is after coming from behind to win its first true road game of the season.

Sophomore guard Zach Norvell Jr. scored 23 of his team-high 28 points in the second half as Gonzaga remained unbeaten with last Saturday’s 103-92 win at Creighton.

TV: 11 p.m. ET, ESPN2

LINE: Gonzaga -15.5: O/U; 161.5.

Norvell Jr. is averaging 18.6 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Bulldogs. The Zags’ took over the top spot in the rankings last week following wins over Illinois, Arizona and Duke at the Maui Invitational.

Guard Josh Perkins  had 13 points and 13 assists, forward Brandon Clarke tossed in 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Rui Hachimura contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Creighton. The Blue Jays led by seven at the half but struggled to keep pace with the Zags after the break.

Gonzaga ranks second in the country in scoring at 98.4 points per game. They could be tested by a Washington team eager to record a statement win.

Senior forward Noah Dickerson had 22 points and eight rebounds for the 6-2 Huskies on Sunday. Guard Jaylen Nowell added 17 points the 67-63 win over UC-Santa Barbara.

Nowell averages a team-high 18.1 points on 57.6-percent shooting for the Huskies. They have won two straight following a loss to Minnesota but have struggled with inconsistency on the offensive end.

Dickerson and Nowell carry the bulk of the scoring load. Coach Mike Hopkins will need players such as Dominic Green and Matisse Thybulle to step up against the explosive Zags.

Hachimura averages a team-high 21.9 points for  the 8-0 Zags’. They are a team that is clicking despite playing without standout forward Killian Tillie. He will likely miss most of the non-conference season with an ankle injury.

The Zags’ frontcourt has received a major boost from Clarke. He is a 6-8 transfer from San Jose State, who is averaging 17.3 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 77.3 percent from the field.

The team’s balanced attack includes Perkins, who was named West Coast Conference player of the week. He recorded 19 assists in wins over North Dakota State and Creighton.

PREDICTION: Gonzaga 92, Washington 77

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Next up:
Washington home to Seattle Sunday, December 9
Gonzaga at Tennessee Sunday, December 9

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