Gonzaga Bulldogs

Tillie leads No. 17 Gonzaga over Utah State 79-66

SPOKANE, Wash. - Killian Tillie scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds as No. 17 Gonzaga beat Utah State 79-66 on Saturday night.

Corey Kispert and Silas Melson each scored 12 points for Gonzaga (3-0), which lost to North Carolina in the NCAA title game last season.

Sam Merrill scored 19 points for Utah State (2-2), which shot 39 percent in the game.

The Aggies played without guard Koby McEwen, a preseason all-Mountain West selection, because of an ankle injury.

Utah State made five 3-pointers, three by Merrill, to take an early 17-11 lead.

Gonzaga went on a 9-1 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Zach Norvell Jr., to take a 20-18 lead.

The Aggies went ahead 39-31 with 5:22 left in the first, but did not make another field goal in the half. Gonzaga outscored them 14-3 to take a 45-42 lead at halftime.

The Aggies made 8 of 17 3-point attempts in the first half.

Gonzaga pushed its lead to 60-52 with 12 minutes left in the game, as Utah State's shooting woes continued.

Five straight points by Merrill brought the Aggies within three. But the Zags went on a 17-0 run to push their lead to 77-57, their largest of the game. Utah State was scoreless for nearly 6 minutes and made only two field goals in the final 10 minutes of the game.

Gonzaga has held 59 consecutive opponents under 50 percent shooting from the field.

This is the sixth meeting of the programs, but the first since 1970.


Utah State: The Aggies were playing the first of five straight road games, and are picked to finish eighth in the Mountain West despite returning four starters.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs came in averaging 101.5 points per game after two easy wins against low-profile opponents, and have six players averaging double figures.


Utah State plays at Portland State on Monday.

Gonzaga plays Ohio State in the PK80 Invitational in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday. The PK80 features some of the nation's top teams and should give the Zags a better idea of their talent level this year.