SPOKANE, Washington: Joel Ayayi had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Drew Timme added 14 points and the top-ranked Gonzaga beat northern Arizona 88-58 on Monday night.
Andrew Nembhard finished with 10 points and seven assists for Gonzaga (8-0), who has the country’s longest home winning streak in 42 games.
Cameron Shelton scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds for northern Arizona (1-6), which was canceled by 35% shooting. Jay Green had 12 points.
Gonzaga regularly played the Lumberjacks when the two were at the Big Sky Conference, but it was only their second reunion since 1979.
Freshman star Jalen Suggs did not play for Gonzaga due to a right leg injury, the team said.
The Zags didn’t need him.
Ayayi scored nine points as Gonzaga took a 28-8 lead after eight minutes. The Zags made 12 of their first 16 shots.
Gonzaga pushed the lead to 36-14 with just under seven minutes to go in the first half, dominating the Lumberjacks in the paint 20-8.
Ayayi had 14 points and nine rebounds at halftime, as the Zags led 51-23.
Northern Arizona was hampered by 22.9 percent shots, making just eight of 35 shots. Green had 10 points at the break for the Lumberjacks.
Gonzaga opened the second half with a 14-4 run to take a 65-27 lead with 14 minutes remaining. The Zags sent their bench players after that.
The Zags had just won a 98-75 victory on Saturday over the No. 16 Virginia in Fort Worth, Texas. This gave them a record of four wins over ranked teams in their first seven games. They have no other team currently on their schedule and have a good chance of extending their seven-week stint at No.1. It’s the longest stint in the program’s history.
Northern Arizona: The Lumberjacks had just claimed their first victory of the season in Denver. They are led by Shelton, who is averaging 19.7 points per game.
Gonzaga: Corey Kispert was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week after scoring 77 points, including a career-high 32 against Virginia, in three wins. That upped his season average to a team high of 22.4 points per outing. Meanwhile, Suggs was the WCC’s Rookie of the Week for the third time. He totaled 39 points, 20 rebounds, 18 assists and eight steals in three games.
Northern Arizona plays Idaho on Thursday.
Gonzaga hosts the Dixie State on Tuesday.
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