No. 2 Gonzaga quickly can spark runs, grab turnovers, knock down three-pointers and finish with dunks. When the Eagles are clicking, opponents can drown in a sea of swishes.
They did just that Wednesday night in a 70-48 stomping of their rival, third-ranked Georgetown Prep, in North Bethesda.
“Once a few go down,” senior point guard Chris Lykes said, “we get excited.”
It started right away Wednesday. Gonzaga (5-1) opened the game on a 10-2 run that featured three-pointers from Lykes and backcourt mate Prentiss Hubb. The Eagles built a 15-point lead before the first quarter was through.
Georgetown Prep launched a 10-2 run that spanned the end of the first and beginning of the second quarter that cut the deficit to nine. It was the last time the Little Hoyas (6-1) came within single digits of the lead.
The Eagles’ defense picked up its play from there and held Prep to seven points in the second quarter. They took an 18-point lead into the locker room thanks to a 16-4 spree to end the half. The margin ballooned to 30 after a 13-1 run to start the third quarter.
A three-pointer from Lykes, a layup by Hubb and another three from Lykes ended the binge, one that started off a Little Hoyas turnover and an assist from power forward Myles Dread.
“It always starts with our defense,” Gonzaga Coach Steve Turner said. “If our guys can turn people over and get out and run, find spots and get their feet set, we can knock down shots. We can be dangerous.”
Lykes matched Prep junior point guard Jared Bynum with a game-high 19 points. Power forward Eddie Scott added 17 points for the Eagles, who also got 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists from Hubb.
The Eagles’ core of Lykes, Dread (nine points, seven rebounds, four assists), Scott and Hubb are in their third year in a system that values defense on one end and ball movement on the other. It was on full display Wednesday.
Little Hoyas junior wing Mezie Offurum finished with only two points — nearly 10 below his season average — and was frustrated by Gonzaga’s defense all night. Forward Ike Nweke scored a hard-fought 15, but Prep turned the ball over 15 times.
As Gonzaga’s shots kept falling, the Eagles’ forwards got in on the act. Dread — who stands 6 feet 5 and calls himself “a guard at heart” — knocked down a three-pointer during that second-quarter run. Scott, 6-6, had four midrange jumpers in the second quarter and hit a three of his own in the third.
Lykes compared the two to Golden State Warriors all-star Draymond Green because they do so much on the floor.
Against the Little Hoyas, it was overwhelming.