SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Top-ranked Gonzaga was scheduled to meet #2 Baylor on December 5, but that game was canceled due to COVID-19 issues on the Gonzaga team.
Following that cancelation, the eyes of the country turned to a #1 vs. #3 matchup that would take place in Sioux Falls on Dec. 19. It would be the first game that Gonzaga would return to play.
Saturday’s game featured two of the top teams in the country as they both entered the contest with undefeated records.
It appeared the two teams needed to adjust to the Sanford Pentagon at first, as the scoring was limited early.
However, the Bulldogs and Hawkeyes quickly made the adjustment and the scoring began.
It was Iowa that shot out to the early lead, but quickly the top-ranked Bulldogs grabbed a 15-14 lead, thanks to eight early points from Gonzaga freshman, Jalen Suggs.
The next few minutes remained close until the Bulldogs started hit a few quick shots including seven points from Suggs. That began a 13-0 run, giving Gonzaga their largest lead at that point, 38-24.
From there, the Bulldogs continued to dominate the first half as Suggs posted 18 points and helped lead Gonzaga to a 51-37, halftime lead.
In the second half, Gonzaga continued to roll on offense as they shot over 51% from the field.
It took until late in the game, but Iowa finally began to find some traction on defense.
Iowa got a lay-up, plus the foul for redshirt sophomore Jack Nunge, cutting the Gonzaga lead down to ten.
Garza later added a bucket to cut the lead down to nine. Iowa would eventually cut the lead down to eight, but with just 39 seconds to play.
The Bulldogs would seal the deal with a few free throws as top-ranked Gonzaga picked up the 99-88 win over #3 Iowa.
Gonzaga was led by freshman Jalen Suggs who finished with a team high 27 points. Drew Timme added 15 points.
The Hawkeyes were led by Luka Garza who scored a game high 30 points, while Joe Wieskamp finished with 20.