Norvell leads No. 17 Gonzaga over Howard 106-69
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
Nov. 15, 2017
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gonzaga coach Mark Few had seen Howard play well in losses to Indiana and George Washington this season, and was wary of the Bison shooters.
"We wanted to take away their 3s," Few said, after No. 17 Gonzaga pounded Howard 106-69 on Tuesday night. "The guys did a good job of listening."
The Bison made 8 of 25 from 3-point range, but shot just 30 percent for the game.
Freshman Zach Norvell Jr. scored 18 points and freshman Corey Kispert added 13 to lead five Bulldogs in double figures.
Johnathan Williams and Rui Hachimura each scored 12 points for Gonzaga (2-0), which last season won its first 29 games and lost in the NCAA championship game to North Carolina.
Gonzaga made 14 of 35 from 3-point range and outrebounded the smaller Bison 51-33. Gonzaga shot 57 percent for the game.
"They were playing zone," Few said of the Bison. "We've got some guys who can shoot it. It was a good mix tonight."
After a pair of blowout wins, Few said the schedule will get tougher when Utah State comes to town on Saturday.
"We'll start ramping up the competition," Few said.
R.J. Cole scored 16 points for Howard (0-3), which is playing 13 of its 16 non-conference games on the road. Zion Cousins had 10 rebounds but just two points.
Howard coach Kevin Nickelberry was not immediately available after the game.
Gonzaga hit four 3-pointers in the early going and jumped to an 18-5 lead.
After a Howard basket, the Zags scored 13 straight points for a 31-8 lead. Hachimura dribbled the length of the court and slammed home a dunk, then hit the resulting free throw, to highlight the run.
Two 3-pointers by Nate Garvey brought Howard within 39-18, but the Zags quickly pulled away again to lead 54-27 at halftime.
Howard shot just 27 percent in the first half, compared to nearly 58 percent for Gonzaga, and was outrebounded by the taller Zags 31-14 in the first.
Gonzaga pushed the lead to 30 points early in the second half and the Bison did not threaten again.
This is the third meeting between the programs, but the first in 27 years. The Zags have won all three.
Gonzaga's Williams surpassed the 1,000-point mark in his career, which includes two seasons at Missouri. He is also on the watch lists for the Naismith and Wooden awards.
Gonzaga had 22 assists on 40 baskets, and was led by six from Josh Perkins.
Gonzaga is 180-17 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004, and every game has been a sell-out.
Howard: The Bison lost to Indiana 86-77 on Sunday, but this night they looked more like the team picked to finish eighth in the MEAC. Cole scored 27 against the Hoosiers.
Gonzaga: After Utah State on Saturday, the Bulldogs play in the PK80 Invitational in Portland, Oregon, against some of the nation's top teams. That should be the first real test of the reloaded Zags, who lost four key players from last year's team.
Howard plays at Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Gonzaga hosts Utah State on Saturday.