Gonzaga’s defense shuts down Ohio State
Ohio State matched Gonzaga on the offensive end for the first 10 minutes on Thursday night. Then the Bulldogs turned up the defensive pressure.
No. 17 Gonzaga held the Buckeyes scoreless and forced six turnovers over the final 7:48 of the first half and pulled away for an 86-59 win in the opening round of the PK80 tournament in Portland, Ore.
Both teams shot better than 60 percent from the floor during the game’s first 10 minutes. The Buckeyes started the game 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs (4-0) closed the first half with an 11-0 run, as Ohio State (4-1) didn’t make a field goal over the last nine minutes.
Corey Kispert, who picked up two fouls and played just three minutes in the first half, scored Gonzaga’s first eight points after halftime as the Bulldogs stretched their lead to 52-33.
Keita Bates-Diop, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer, got his first field goal of the game — after scoring just two points in the first half — a little less than two minutes into the second half to break an Ohio State scoring drought of more than 10 minutes.
Bulldogs point guard Josh Perkins made shots from all over the court, finishing with 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting, all from behind the arc.
Johnathan Williams scored 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting for Gonzaga, and Killian Tillie had eight points and 11 rebounds. Both big men dealt with foul trouble.
Kispert scored all 10 of his points in the second half.
Jae’Sean Tate and C.J. Jackson scored 12 points each to lead Ohio State, and Kaleb Wesson added 10 points. Bates-Diop was held to seven points but grabbed 10 rebounds.
Perkins hit back-to-back spot-up 3-pointers to cap an 11-2 run that gave Gonzaga a 21-16 lead with 13:02 to go in the first half.
Perkins made his first four 3-point attempts, some from well beyond the arc.
Perkins (15), Williams (11) and Tillie (eight) combined for 34 of Gonzaga’s 44 first-half points.
The Bulldogs will play No. 7 Florida on Friday in the semifinals of the PK80’s Motion Bracket, while Ohio State will face Stanford.