A big first half leads sixth-ranked Gonzaga after Portland by a score of 102-78

PORTLAND, OR (AP) — Malachy Smith led six players by double figures with 23 points, and No. 6 Gonzaga used a big first half to beat Portland State 102-78 Thursday night in Vail’s opening round. Knight Legacy Tournament.

The Bulldogs (4-1) led by 27 in the first half, had a 55-31 advantage in the first half and withstood a sloppy second half.

Gonzaga coach Mark Fiew said he had his players take note of the games earlier in the day when Portland had scare No. 1 North Carolina and No. 8 Duke was on the verge of upsetting Oregon State.

“There are good teams here if you’re not quite ready to go or at your best, you can walk out. I think that’s really helped us solidify our approach,” Few said.

Smith was Southern Conference Player of the Year for Chattanooga, but he didn’t make it to the big game for the Zags. It finally happened against the Vikings as Smith hit 9 of his 12 shots and all of his 3-point attempts.