SPOKANE — Gonzaga only lost one starter from last season — its leader — center Robert Sacre.
The Zags may have already found a replacement in 7-foot-1 freshman Przemek Karnowski.
Karnowski scored 22 points to lead No. 21 Gonzaga to a 103-65 win over Southern Utah on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Karnowski, a highly touted 7-foot-1 center from Poland, led six players in double figures. He made 10 of 16 field goals, which were mostly hook shots from deep inside the key.
Guy Landry Edi scored a career-high 16 points, Sam Dower had 15, Elias Harris and David Stockton had 12 apiece and Kevin Pangos added 10 for Gonzaga.
Even with 103 points on the scoreboard, Gonzaga coach Mark Few was praising the defensive effort of his team.
“I can’t remember when the last time we turned somebody over 28 times,” Few said. “It was good ball pressure.”
Jackson Stevenett led Southern Utah with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Waded Collie added 10 points for the Thunderbirds. Southern Utah shot 49 percent for the game, but had 28 turnovers compared to only 9 for Gonzaga.
“We knew that’s a rhythm system and so if you can disrupt the rhythm, then you’re better off than chasing them through a myriad of screens,” Few said.
Gonzaga, which was never threatened after halftime, opened the second half with a 12-2 run and allowed only one Southern Utah field goal in the first 5 minutes.
The Bulldogs made nearly 55 percent of their field goals, including 6-for-13 from 3-point range. Despites its size in the middle, Gonzaga only outrebounded Southern Utah 36-33.
“I just feel like our rotations are deeper than last year,” Dower said. “Anybody can really start. Everybody on the floor can produce whether it’s defensively or offensively. I think the constant subbing will just wear a team down.”
Pacific 71, Seattle U 70
SEATTLE — Seattle University’s rally from a 13-point deficit with 10:48 to play came up short as the Redhawks lost their season opener. SU was led by Ashley Ward (21 points), Kacie Sowell (19 points) and Brenda Adhiambo (11 points).
Top 25 game canceled
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — The game between No. 4 Ohio State and Marquette aboard the USS Yorktown at the Carrier Classic on Friday night was canceled because of moisture on the court. After a wait of about an hour, referee John Cahill said the condensation on the converted flight deck could not be dried. He said it was in the best interest of the teams to call off the game. The game was part of the second Carrier Classic. Earlier in the day, the No. 7 Notre Dame women defeated No. 19 Ohio State 57-51. There was no problem with the court during that game.
Syracuse probe dropped
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Federal authorities have dropped their investigation into sexual abuse claims that cost a Syracuse University assistant basketball coach his job, threw a top-ranked team into turmoil and threatened the career of Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim. After a probe spanning nearly a year, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said Friday there was not enough evidence to support claims that Bernie Fine had molested a boy in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room.