In this night time, regardless that, all of it got here so simply — simply because it has all through the event.
Gonzaga, which has had one sport nearer than double digits all season, has cruised previous Norfolk State, Oklahoma, Creighton and U.S.C. with out a sport nearer than 16 issues.
The Zags have been so unencumbered on Tuesday that Drew Timme, the mustachioed, headband-wearing sophomore middle from Dallas, perceived to undergo his complete catalog of flexes after scoring — appearing off a bicep, twirling his finger or shaking his head after tossing in a bounce hook over Evan Mobley, suggesting that the Trojans’ lithe 7-foot freshman may no longer guard him.
For one night time, he used to be no longer flawed. Mobley is perhaps some of the first avid gamers picked within the 2021 N.B.A. draft however he had little good fortune looking to thwart Timme, who performs with persistence and a surfeit of submit strikes.
Timme set the tone for the thumping simply moments into the sport, when he stripped U.S.C. level guard Tahj Eaddy of the ball at one finish and drew a bad from Mobley on the different after pump faking him into the air. He scored 13 of Gonzaga’s first 23 issues. In all, Timme completed with 23 issues, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
“It set the tone that, hello, we’re going to be competitive,” Few mentioned of Timme’s scouse borrow. “This factor’s going initially protection.”
The one second the Zags’ momentum used to be slowed used to be a sobering one. Referee Bert Smith collapsed in entrance of the Gonzaga bench after he had run down the court docket. He pivoted within the nook after which keeled over, his head hitting the ground with a thud.
Paramedics rushed to wait to Smith, who remained respiring whilst mendacity on his again. As Few huddled his avid gamers to the facet of the court docket, guard Joel Ayayi and assistant trainer Tommy Lloyd peeked over to test on Smith, who used to be in the end carried off on a stretcher. He used to be alert and solid and used to be no longer taken to a medical institution, an N.C.A.A. spokesman mentioned. He used to be changed by way of another referee.