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No. 7 Gonzaga can rebound quickly vs. winless Mississippi Valley


After a 78-73 loss Saturday night at Washington, No. 7 Gonzaga had already turned the page and was looking ahead to a future game.

Just not the one it plays Monday night in Spokane, Wash., when it welcomes winless Mississippi Valley State for a nonconference clash.

"Obviously, we felt like we could have won that game and it came down to the wire," Bulldogs forward Anton Watson said. "It's a tough loss but we have to keep our heads up because we got a big game coming up this weekend."

That would be Friday night, when Gonzaga makes the four-plus-hour trek west to Seattle for a battle with defending national champion UConn. In the meantime, though, it has a chance to work on some things against a team it should beat handily with even an average performance.

The Zags (7-2) looked like they would win their 17th straight game against Pac-12 competition when they took a 59-48 lead with 14:30 left in the game. But they managed only 14 points after that, spewing turnovers and missed shots down the stretch.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few said his team could have done a few things better during that span.

"We weren't great getting to our second actions and trusting each other," he said. "We tried to make something out of nothing on a lot of those plays. We just didn't play with great poise down the stretch, which so far we've done a good job with that."

All that aside, the Zags have still been a potent team offensively through nine games. They're a top-20 team in scoring (85.7 ppg) and field-goal percentage (50.2). Watson's 14.6 points per game leads five players in double figures, followed by Graham Ike (14.3), Nolan Hickman (13.4), Ryan Nembhard (12.4) and reserve Braden Huff (11.1).

Another measure of Gonzaga's strength: ranks it as a top-20 team nationally in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency.

As for Monday night's opponent, the Delta Devils (0-9) are struggling through an early-season death march of a schedule. They have played every game on the road, as is common with Southwestern Athletic Conference schools that often take numerous guarantee games to aid their athletic budgets, and have been outscored by an average of 33.3 ppg.

They're coming off a 74-39 loss on Tuesday night at Liberty that saw Donovan Sanders and Arecko Gipson combine for 31 of their points. They were the only two starters to score. Just four players got into the scoring column.

Mississippi Valley State is ranked 362nd out of 362 schools in adjusted offensive efficiency, per Playing the likes of unbeaten Oklahoma, UConn, TCU, LSU and Liberty hasn't helped, either.

Rayquan Brown has been the Delta Devils' top scoring threat so far at 15.3 ppg but missed the game at Liberty. His status for the game on Monday night isn't known. Sanders is the team's other double-figure man at 10.7 ppg.

Mississippi Valley State's only close loss was a 68-65 overtime decision on Nov. 26 at Pacific.

--Field Level Media

Si quieres conocer otros artículos parecidos a No. 7 Gonzaga can rebound quickly vs. winless Mississippi Valley puedes visitar la categoría College Basketball News.

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Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.

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