SPOKANE – If the first few weeks of the men’s basketball season revealed anything about 11th-ranked Gonzaga, it is that the Zags won’t struggle to score.
But allowing 82 points a game in three days at the Maui Invitational in Hawaii allowed coach Mark Few to turn Gonzaga’s 86-51 romp over Coppin State on Sunday night into a lesson on rebounding and defense.
“Coach was harping on ‘Maui jet lag’ or whatever,” said guard Gary Bell Jr., “but we knew from our performances over there that we had to get after it better on defense, and that’s all about playing hard.”
Bell, a graduate of Kentridge High School, had 15 points to lead the Zags (7-1), who posted their largest margin of victory this season.
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Gonzaga built a 39-14 halftime lead over the Eagles (2-4) from Baltimore.
Gonzaga shot 50 percent and limited Coppin State to 32 percent. The Zags had a 45-32 rebounding advantage.
“But we’re still not rebounding the way we’re capable of and certainly not the way our program has in the past,” Few said.