Malachi Smith scored a season-high 23 points to lead a balanced attack as No. 6 Gonzaga defeated Portland State 102-78 Thursday night in the opening round of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament in Portland, Ore.
The Bulldogs (4-1) will meet No. 24 Purdue in the semifinals Friday night. The Boilermakers beat West Virginia 80-68 earlier Thursday.
Preseason All-American Drew Timme scored 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field and grabbed six rebounds for Gonzaga. Rasir Bolton added 14 points and eight assists, Hunter Sallis had 12 points and Julian Strawther and Anton Watson tallied 10 apiece.
Jorell Saterfield led Portland State (2-3) with 21 points, shooting 5 of 8 on 3-point attempts. Cameron Parker added 16 points and eight assists, and Mikal Starks scored 11.
Smith, the Southern Conference’s player of the year at Chattanooga before transferring to Gonzaga in the offseason, was 5 of 5 from 3-point range. He scored in double figures for the first time since getting 15 in the season opener against North Florida.
Gonzaga led 55-31 at the intermission. The Bulldogs shot 65.6 percent (21 of 32) from the field in the half, including 8 of 14 from 3-point range.
Gonzaga trailed 14-12 before Strawther made a 3-pointer with 12:30 left in the half to spark a 12-2 run. The Bulldogs steadily pulled away, leading by as many as 27 points before the break.
The Vikings pulled within 16 points on three occasions in the second half but never got any closer.
Gonzaga shot 60.3 percent (38 of 63) and was 12 of 24 from beyond the arc while limiting the Vikings to 42.6 percent shooting (26 of 61). The Bulldogs had a 40-26 rebounding edge, leading to a 14-0 advantage in second-chance points. Gonzaga also outscored Portland State 40-28 in the paint.
–Field Level Media
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