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Gonzaga men advance to second round of NCAA basketball tournament

Screenshot from NCAA
Gonzaga players Chet Holmgren, Andrew Nembhard and Drew Timme and coach Mark Few talk with reporters after their win over Georgia State.

The Gonzaga women open their tournament today; WSU women play Saturday morning

The Gonzaga men’s basketball team survived a sluggish first 30 minutes in its first round NCAA tournament win over Georgia State, 93-72.

The top-seeded Zags and 16th-seeded Panthers traded the lead throughout the first half. The Bulldogs led 35-33 at the break and led only 59-57 with about 11:30 to go. But the Zags continued to pound the ball inside while its defense hounded Georgia State, going on a 27-4 run to extend its lead to 86-61. Gonzaga substituted liberally the rest of the way and cruised to the win.

Drew Timme, who had a huge second half, led the Zags with 32 points, to go along with his 13 rebounds. Chet Holmgren scored 19 points, pulled down 17 rebounds, blocked seven shots and handed out five assists. Rasir Bolton and Anton Watson each scored 10 points.

The Bulldogs now start preparations for their second-round game against the Memphis Tigers, who beat Boise State, led by former Gonzaga assistant coach Leon Rice, 64-53.

Also on Thursday, the season ended for Eastern Washington University men’s team. The Eagles lost to Fresno State, 83-74, in their first round game in The Basketball Classic.

The Eagles took an early lead, including 22-14 about six minutes into the game. But Fresno State outscored EWU 33-11 the rest of the way and led by 14 at the half. The Bulldogs maintained the lead throughout the second half and won by a comfortable margin.

The Eagles, who tied for fifth in the Big Sky Conference, finished 18-16 under first-year coach David Riley.

The next Inland Northwest team to play is the Gonzaga women's team, which takes on Nebraska in the first round of the NCAA women's tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Game time is 12:30 pm.

On Saturday morning, the Washington State women will play their first round game in Raleigh, North Carolina against Kansas State. Game time is 8:30 am Pacific time.

The Washington State men will play Southern Methodist University Sunday at noon in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament, or NIT.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.