No. 12 Gonzaga 86, IUPUI 56

Gonzaga coasted to victories in its first two games. Now it’s
time to focus on playing No. 25 San Diego State at home on Tuesday,
the 12th-ranked Bulldogs’ third game in five days.

”It’s a huge test,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said after Steven
Gray scored 17 points to lead Sunday’s 86-56 victory over IUPUI in
the regional round of the CBE Classic. ”Especially this early in
the season. They return all five starters.”

With the Aztecs on deck, the Bulldogs (2-0) made sure they
didn’t look past IUPUI, which won 25 games last season.

”He does everything good,” Few said of Gray. ”He’s our best
defender, he’s our best playmaker, he’s our best shooter. He’s just
a complete guard.”

Kelly Olynyk tied a career high with 13 points for Gonzaga.
Robert Sacre and Sam Dower scored 11 apiece and freshman Mathis
Monninghoff added 10 for the Bulldogs.

The 7-foot Olynyk didn’t start again as Few opted to go with
three guards against smaller IUPUI. Junior college transfer
Marquise Carter got his first start in a Gonzaga uniform.

”They had a tough smaller lineup for us bigger guys to guard,”
Olynyk said.

Christian Siakam, at 6-7 was the tallest player in the starting
lineup for the Jaguars.

Alex Young led IUPUI (0-1) with 16 points, while Leroy Nobles
scored 14 and John Ashworth had 10.

Gonzaga led by as many as 32 points and IUPUI didn’t make its
first field goal until the 10:22 mark of the first half.

Nobles made IUPUI’s first 3-pointer during an 8-3 run to start
the second half, cutting Gonzaga’s lead to 40-26 with 17:08 to
play. Before Nobles’ 3, the Jaguars had missed their previous 11
shots from behind the arc.

Young, the Jaguars’ leading scorer last season, scored eight
points in the first seven minutes of the second half. IUPUI trailed
49-34 after being down by as many as 21 points in the first
half.

A steal and dunk by Elias Harris capped a 15-2 run that extended
Gonzaga’s lead to 64-36 with 8:00 to play. Monninghoff scored five
points during the run, including his first 3-pointer in five
attempts.

Four consecutive points by Dower pushed the Gonzaga’s lead to
75-44 with 5:23 left.

IUPUI stated the game slow, turning the ball over six times in
the first six minutes. The Jaguars missed their first 13 shots from
the field.

”I’m very proud of our guys right now,” Sacre said. ”It shows
that we have great defense and that’s the key about winning
championships.”

Gonzaga wasn’t exactly lighting it up on offense either. Five
straight points by Olynyk gave the Bulldogs a 16-2 lead with 11:09
to play in the half. Gonzaga made of 7 of 16 shots in the first 10
minutes. The Bulldogs finished the half, making 50 percent of their
shots.

IUPUI made their first field goal, on a jumper by Ashworth with
10:22 left. Young picked up two early offensive foul calls and his
first points came on two free throws with 2:37 remaining. Young
picked up his third foul with a minute remaining in the half.

”The two offensive fouls early really took him out of his
game,” IUPUI coach Ron Hunter said. ”That’s where he has to
mature as a basketball player.”

Harris was also called for three first-half fouls and only
played eight minutes. The Zags made 15 of 30 shots but were just 2
of 13 from behind the arc.

The Jaguars made 4 of 23 field goals in the half, were 0 for 11
from 3-point range but made 10 of 13 free throws to keep it 37-18
at halftime.

It was the second straight game in which Gonzaga played all 12
players.

”There isn’t much difference from three through 12,” Few said.
”We’ve been trying to find different combinations”

This was the first meeting between the programs. IUPUI, a member
of The Summit League, is 0-8 against nationally ranked
opponents.

”We knew this was going to be a daunting task,” Hunter said.
”I don’t know who’s going to come in here and win. I don’t care
who they are.”

Gonzaga is one of four regional hosts for the CBE Classic – the
others being, No. 1 Duke, No. 3 Kansas State and Marquette. The
four host teams will play each other in the championship rounds in
Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 22-23. The other eight teams will play in
Oxford, Ohio and Harrisonburg, Va.