Leading scorer Ronny Turiaf was ailing and scored a mere two points 21 below his season average but teammates made up for it. Four Gonzaga players scored in double...
SPOKANE Leading scorer Ronny Turiaf was ailing and scored a mere two points 21 below his season average but teammates made up for it.
Four Gonzaga players scored in double figures as the No. 25 Zags overwhelmed Saint Louis 75-45 last night.
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Turiaf was hobbled by a sprained ankle and was double-teamed for most of the night as the Billikens (1-6) tried to clog the middle against the Zags (7-1).
But forward Adam Morrison broke loose for 20 points.
Derek Raivio added 13, and Sean Mallon and Erroll Knight had 12 each as Gonzaga won its fourth straight since losing to Illinois, which is the No. 1 team in the nation.
“We needed to start asserting ourselves as a tough, physical, hard-nosed team,” Zags coach Mark Few said.
Gonzaga took a 13-2 lead and held Saint Louis to 25 percent shooting in the first half to take a 32-17 lead at the break despite some rough shooting.
The Zags made 65 percent of their second-half shots to bury the Billikens, who lost their fourth straight.
Knight, playing his first extended minutes of the season, provided his usual aggressive defense and also sank 4 of 7 shots.
“We needed him to step up,” Few said. “He’s our energizer on defense and he was fantastic tonight.”
Turiaf was playing at about 60 to 70 percent because of the ankle he twisted at Washington State, Few said.
But Turiaf managed to pull down seven rebounds and made some nice passes for easy baskets while double-teamed inside. He also blocked three shots in 17 minutes.
“He did a great job of competing out there,” Few said of Turiaf.