SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)Drew Timme scored 26 points and No. 15 Gonzaga beat Northern Illinois 88-67 on Monday night, extending the nation’s longest home win streak to 71 games.
Ben Gregg had a career-high 18 points and seven rebounds for the Zags (8-3), and fellow reserve Malachi Smith finished with 14 points. Timme went 9 for 15 from the field and 8 for 9 at the line.
”I wasn’t really thinking about scoring,” Gregg said. ”I know my role and my role is to bring the energy whenever I can and today it was with scoring.”
Gonzaga’s 71-game streak matches the longest by any team since 1985. Arizona won 71 straight at home between 1987-92 before its streak was halted by UCLA.
Gonzaga’s next home game is Dec. 20 against Montana.
Gregg, who had scored 23 points all season, helped key a 13-1 run midway through the second half. Smith hit two key 3-pointers during the decisive stretch.
Keshawn Williams scored 25 points for Northern Illinois (3-7), and Anthony Crump had 20.
”Just wear and tear. In the first half, we were able to use our quickness and guys made some timely shots and we defended the ball really well,” Northern Illinois coach Rashon Burno said. ”Second half, it’s a bigger team at home and a couple 8-0 runs that we couldn’t come back from.”
Gonzaga never trailed and led by as many as 21. The Zags converted 15 Northern Illinois turnovers into 17 points and outscored the Huskies 44-24 in the paint.
”I thought we played really, really good defense in the first 10 minutes and we were stringing together stops, but we’re just a little rushed and unsettled on offense,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. ”It made for kind of a mucked up game. We were taking shots on their terms and not on ours.”
Northern Illinois: The Huskies have dropped three of their last four games – all on the road – and haven’t beaten a ranked opponent since 2019. NIU will play three of its next four on the road, with conference play beginning at Akron on Jan. 3.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have three more nonconference games – including a tilt at No. 4 Alabama – before tipping off conference play against Pepperdine on Dec. 31 at home.
Northern Illinois: At Virginia Commonwealth.
Gonzaga: On the road at No. 4 Alabama.
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