SPOKANE — Gonzaga took advantage of Western Michigan’s mistakes on Saturday.
Robert Sacre and Sam Dower each scored 15 points in No. 19 Gonzaga’s 78-58 win that kept Western Michigan winless.
“All we’ve got to do is win,” said guard Mike Hart, who finished with six points and seven rebounds. “We may not be the prettiest, but we don’t have to be good looking.”
Elias Harris and David Stockton each added 10 points for Gonzaga (4-0), which was playing its annual game in the off-campus Spokane Arena.
“We knew it would be a hard-fought, physical game,” coach Mark Few said. “They’ve played an unbelievable schedule and haven’t been home yet.”
Western Michigan (0-6), coming off an 80-37 loss to Purdue, has all six of its losses on the road. The Broncos were picked to win the Mid-American Conference West division. They were led by 11 points from Matt Stainbrook.
Gonzaga got 25 points off 22 Western Michigan turnovers, which coach Steve Hawkins said was the reason for his team’s defeat.
“With a team as good as Gonzaga, our turnovers were the key,” Hawkins said.
This is the first meeting between the teams, and Gonzaga never trailed in the game.
Gonzaga led by eight at halftime, and outscored the Broncos 16-6 in the early going in the second half. Three straight baskets by Sacre and a layup by Kevin Pangos pushed the lead to 52-34 with 12:20 left.
Elias Harris hit a pair of 3-pointers and a steal and basket to push the lead to 22 points at 65-43.
In the first half, Gonzaga made eight of its first 12 shots in jumping to a 20-11 lead. The Broncos made just 5 of 15 shots in that stretch. Western Michigan closed within five points, but a 7-0 run put Gonzaga up 28-16.
Gonzaga didn’t make a field goal for nearly 7 minutes, and a 12-2 run brought Western Michigan within 30-28. But Gonzaga scored three straight baskets to take a 36-28 halftime lead.
Western Michigan also got nine points from Demetrius Ward.
The Broncos shot just 41 percent for the game, while Gonzaga was at 52 percent.
Western Michigan committed 22 turnovers to just nine for Gonzaga.