Gonzaga Bulldogs: 3 Takeaways from 120-79 win over Idaho State

Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images) /

The Gonzaga Bulldogs won their season opener convincingly with a 120-79 win over Idaho State. Laura Rammos has her three takeaways from the game.

A 120-79 win in front of a fired up home crowd was a great way to start the 2018-19 season for the third-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball team. Five players scored double digits and the Zags won the battle of the boards 37-26. What can Gonzaga Bulldogs fans walk away with from their opening game at the McCarthey Center? Here are three takeaways.

First thing’s first

The Idaho State Bengals got “Ruied”. Zags star, Rui Hachimura, showed his ability to score at will. Hachimura led all scorers with 33 points in 24 minutes.  He was thirteen of eighteen from the field, seven of nine from the free throw line, and was a dominant inside presence.

What can we take away from this? Hachimura will be a force to be reckoned with this season. It’s only one game and against a lesser opponent, but the next great hope started 2018-19, with a promise to deliver.

An offensive defense

The ability to score points will definitely help the Bulldogs when defensively they may struggle. Midway through the first half, the Zags allowed Idaho State to stay close, and at the11:20 mark they even trailed by one point. Zags head coach Mark Few went to his bench and they delivered.

Having a number of offensive weapons that can take over a game when any of their five starters struggle, will come in handy when Gonzaga plays the tougher opponents on their schedule, North Carolina, Creighton, and Tennessee.

The Zags have always been a second-half team and the fans have grown used to enduring many game-ending nail biters. Takeaway number two, if the defense continues to have slow starts like last night’s game, Zags Nation will need to buy lots of tape, to wrap up their fingers.

Covering the Spread

WIll this 2018-2019 Zags team be able to cover the spread like the Final Four team of two years ago? The 2016-17 group was 22-7-1 against the spread, one of the best in the nation. Last night against the Idaho State Bengals the Zags won by 42 points, covering the spread by 12 more than needed. The final takeaway from such an early season blowout, is the Zags are a money team.

From the words of one of my favorite local bartenders, “I love the Zags! They have made me a lot of money. They always cover the spread.”

Next up is Texas Southern, Saturday night.