VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Robert Sacre had a successful homecoming in Canada, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead No. 22 Gonzaga past Hawaii 73-54 on Saturday night.
It was a rare appearance in Vancouver for Sacre, a former British Columbia high school star who is in his fourth and final year of collegiate eligibility. He is projected as a first- or second-round NBA draft choice and also figures prominently in Canada’s rebuilding national team program.
Gary Bell had 14 points for Gonzaga (3-0) and another Bulldogs player from Canada, Kevin Pangos of Newmarket, Ontario, added 12.
Shaquille Stokes led Hawaii (1-1) with 17 points.
The game was played at Rogers Arena, home of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks.
Pangos got untracked in the second half as he assisted on Sam Dower’s jump shot, sank a jumper of his own and then set up Bell for a 3 to put the Zags ahead 45-39.
Stokes responded by making a 3-pointer and two foul shots to pull Hawaii within one, but Bell nailed a 3 and Sacre sank a jumper to give Gonzaga a 50-44 advantage.
Gonzaga then went on a 15-8 surge to go up 65-52. Hawaii coach Gib Arnold was ejected with just more than 4 minutes left after receiving his second technical for berating officials. Pangos sank both technical free throws to give the Bulldogs a 16-point advantage.
Gonzaga led most of the way, building a 33-27 lead at halftime before pulling away in the second half.
Pangos, who had nine 3-pointers in a win over Washington State on Monday, earned a loud cheer as he sank an early 3. But he was held in check for most of the first half, spending 10 minutes on the bench.
Gonzaga took the lead when Bell drained a 3 to put his team up 9-8. The Bulldogs then went on an 11-5 run and extended their lead even further as Sacre sank four straight free throws, two of them due to a technical on Arnold for arguing a call.
The free throws staked the Bulldogs to a 25-15 lead, their biggest advantage in the first half. The Rainbows then rallied and managed to close the gap to six points as Stokes sank a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.
Sacre led Gonzaga with seven points in the first half. Joaquim Vander had seven for Hawaii.
Notes: Stokes earned New York City high school player of the year honors last season. … It was the fourth meeting between Gonzaga and Hawaii. Gonzaga is 3-1 against the Rainbows.