The No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs survived an early injury scare and some tough minutes on the road in an 87-82 win over the No. 11 West Virginia Mountaineers on Wednesday night in Indianapolis as part of the Jimmy V Classic.
Junior guard Joel Ayayi led all scorers with 21 points, and added seven rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Florida transfer guard Andrew Nembhard added 19 points on 8-14 shooting. Star freshman Jalen Suggs appeared to have a rough ankle injury in the first half, but returned to finish the game. He finished with just four points in 26 minutes.
The Mountaineers won on the glass 41-36, and held the top-ranked Bulldogs to just 4-16 from three-point range. The physical brand of basketball Bob Huggins’ teams are known for was on display, and was led by Derek Culver’s 18 points and 15 rebounds. The junior forward was 6-13 from the field, with fellow forward Oscar Tshiebwe adding 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Mountaineers finished with 1.01 points per possession, but conceded 1.12 to the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga closed as an 8.5-point favorite, and will face the No. 2 Baylor Bears on Saturday in Indianapolis on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET in the rare No. 1 vs. No. 2 regular season college basketball matchup.