SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gonzaga is undefeated and has been ranked No. 1 all season. Coach Mark Few wants to put that in some perspective.
"This isn't the most physically imposing squad we've marched out there," Few said, noting the 2017 team that reached the NCAA championship game was bigger and the 2019 team may have had more gifted athletes.
"This is a team. They move it and share it. Our offensive numbers are reflecting that," Few said. "It's something to behold if you ask me."
Corey Kispert scored 20 points, Joel Ayayi added 16 and Gonzaga beat cold-shooting Saint Mary's 87-65 on Thursday night, extending the nation's longest winning streak to 25 games over the past two seasons.
Drew Timme scored 12 points to help Gonzaga (21-0, 12-0 West Coast) extend its home winning streak to 48 games and wrap up the conference regular-season title. Fans were allowed at a Gonzaga home game for the first time this season and a few dozen family members of players were in the stands.
"We're really playing tough, hard-nosed, attentive defense," Few said.
Ayayi made four of five from 3-point range. "I love that Joel was hunting his 3 a little bit more today," Few said.
The Zags looked better than in the first game at Saint Mary's, when they trailed after 11 minutes and finished with a season-low 73 points.
"We delivered against their physicality better than we did down at their place," Few said.
Judah Brown scored 16 points, and Logan Johnson had 13 for Saint Mary's (11-7, 2-5). The Gaels are typically one of Gonzaga's arch-rivals but are having a down season made worse by prolonged COVID-19 closures.
Gonzaga has won 18 consecutive games by double digits. That's the longest streak within a season by an Associated Press No. 1 team since UNLV won 19 games in a row by 10 or more in 1990-91.
Gonzaga never trailed, jumping to a 17-6 lead in the opening minutes.
The big blow was a 19-2 run late in the first that pushed their lead to 46-18.
The Zags led 51-24 at halftime, behind 14 points from Kispert and 11 from Ayayi.
The Gaels were hurt by 36% shooting in the first, including 1 of 11 from 3-point range, and 12 turnovers. Gonzaga shot a blistering 61% in the first and committed only four turnovers.
Andrew Nembhard had six points as Gonzaga opened the second half with a 10-0 run for a 61-24 lead to put the game out of reach.
"We were cooking on all cylinders," Kispert said, adding that the Zags are focusing on defense lately.
"Great defensive teams make Final Fours and win national championships," he said. "We knew the offense would take care of itself."
Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett did not have a video press conference after the game.
NO. 3 MICHIGAN 71, RUTGERS 64
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Franz Wagner scored 20 points and Mike Smith added 12 to lift Michigan past Rutgers.
Hunter Dickinson added 10 points for the Wolverines, who won their second straight game since returning from a lengthy layoff after the athletic department paused activities for coronavirus-related reasons. Michigan avoided a slip-up before its showdown at No. 4 Ohio State this weekend.
Jacob Young scored 16 points for Rutgers, which led early but lacked the offensive sharpness necessary to keep up with Michigan. The Scarlet Knights (12-8, 8-8 Big Ten) have never beaten the Wolverines. Michigan (15-1, 10-1) has won all 14 meetings.
NO. 4 OHIO STATE 92, PENN STATE 82
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — E.J. Liddell scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half and Ohio State outlasted Penn State.
Duane Washington scored 21 points and C.J. Walker added 13 for the Buckeyes (18-4, 12-4 Big Ten), who used a 15-0 run midway through the second half to take control and win their seventh straight.
Myreon Jones led Penn State with 18 points. Izaiah Brockington and Seth Lundy each scored 12 points and Jamari Wheeler added 11 for the Nittany Lions (7-11, 4-10), who lost their third straight.
WICHITA STATE 68, NO. 6 HOUSTON 63
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Tyson Etienne and Alterique Gilbert each scored 16 points and Dexter Dennis had 12 points and a crucial steal in the final seconds, leading Wichita State past Houston.
The Shockers (13-4, 9-2 American Athletic Conference) moved past Houston (17-3, 11-3) and into first place in the league.
DeJeon Jarreau led the Cougars with 16 points. Quentin Grimes added 13 points and Justin Gorham scored 10.
Ricky Council added 11 points for Wichita State, which had its first home victory against a top-six opponent since beating No. 2 Louisville on Feb. 25, 1967. The Shockers also snapped a six-game losing streak against Houston.
NO. 11 IOWA 77, NO. 21 WISCONSIN 62
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Luka Garza scored 30 points, Joe Wieskamp had 17 and Iowa pulled away to beat Wisconsin.
Garza raised his nation-leading average to 24.7 points. He made 11 of 19 shots, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and grabbed eight rebounds. Freshman Keegan Murray had 12 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (16-6, 10-5 Big Ten).
Micah Potter had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Wisconsin (15-8, 9-7), Brad Davison added 15 points and D'Mitrik Trice scored 11. The Badgers lost consecutive games for the first time this season.