Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski (center) shoots over Akron’s Michael Hughes (left) during the second half of the Bulldogs’ 61-43 win over the Zips on Saturday in Spokane. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski (center) shoots over Akron’s Michael Hughes (left) during the second half of the Bulldogs’ 61-43 win over the Zips on Saturday in Spokane. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

College basketball roundup: Gonzaga fights past Akron

Herald news services

SPOKANE — Gonzaga coach Mark Few was looking for a hard-nosed opponent to schedule at home in December to toughen up his No. 8 Bulldogs.

He found one in Akron.

The Zips gave Gonzaga all it could handle before a late surge lifted the Bulldogs to a 61-43 victory Saturday night.

“Akron is a heck of a program,” Few said. “They push you to the limit physically. We had to grind that one out.”

Przemek Karnowski scored 14 points to lead all players in scoring in a defensive battle that lifted the Zags to the best start in program history.

Nigel Williams-Goss added 11 points for Gonzaga (10-0), which has won 10 straight to open the season for the first time since joining Division I in 1958.

Few was not overly impressed by the winning streak.

“I live for the next game,” Few said. “I don’t spend a lot of time looking back.”

But he allowed that he felt “good” about Gonzaga’s record. “I’m looking forward to getting better,” he said.

Isaiah Johnson scored 11 points, and Jimond Ivey had 10 for Akron (7-3).

The Zips were undone by 27 percent shooting (16 of 60) from the field, but Gonzaga shot just 40 percent and finished 24 points below its season scoring average.

Johnathan Williams scored consecutive baskets and Gonzaga took a 31-25 lead early in the second half.

Akron cut the Gonzaga lead to three points, but four free throws by Williams-Goss pushed it out again.

Three-pointers by Ivey and Josh Williams cut Gonzaga’s lead to 42-40 with just under 10 minutes left in the game.

But Jordan Mathews hit a 3-pointer to spark a 16-1 run that gave the Zags a 61-43 lead with 2:46 left.

The Zips were held without a field goal for the final 8 minutes of the game.

“We got tired,” Akron coach Keith Dambrot said. “I was disappointed in how we finished.”

Dambrot has also been upgrading his schedule to put his players in tough situations.

“We are big enough to compete with the big boys,” he said.

Baskets were hard to come by in the first half.

A 3-pointer by Silas Melson helped Gonzaga build a 15-9 lead midway through the first half, as both teams went long periods without scoring.

That lead held up as Gonzaga led 23-17 at halftime, despite shooting just 27.6 percent. That’s because Akron shot just 25.8 percent and missed all 11 of its 3-point attempts. Gonzaga had been averaging 45 points in the first half of its past four games.

It was a season low in first half points for both teams.

“We didn’t let our frustrations on offense bleed over to the defensive side,” Few said.

The teams’ only previous meeting was in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, won by Gonzaga 77-64.

Kansas St. 70, WSU 56

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wesley Iwundu had 15 points and eight rebounds, Barry Brown had 14 points and Kansas State methodically pulled away from Washington State in the second half Saturday night.

Dean Wade added 11 points and Xavier Sneed finished with 10 for the Wildcats (9-1), who overcame a lousy first-half shooting performance to win their 16th consecutive non-conference home game.

It was also their third straight win over the Cougars.

Washington State (5-5) controlled almost the entire first half, never trailing until the final couple of minutes. But coach Ernie Kent’s team fell behind 28-26 headed into the locker room, and kept slipping farther behind during the second half.

Former Shorewood star Josh Hawkinson had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars. Charles Callison also scored 10.

Seattle 90, Great Falls 49

SEATTLE — Matej Kavas scored 13 points to lead four Seattle players with double figures in a win over the Argos of the NAIA.


UC Riverside 58, Seattle 54

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Highlanders (3-3) held the Redhawks (2-8) scoreless over the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, and Simone DeCoud hit two free throws in the final seconds to seal it.

Alexis Montgomery led Seattle with 22 points. DeCoud scored 18 to pace UC Riverside.

Linn-Benton 72, Everett 62

EVERETT — Lily Hilderbrand led the Trojans with 20 points in their Everett Classic semifinal loss. Everett will play Spokane at noon on Sunday.

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