Updates: No. 2 Gonzaga faces tough WCC test, hosts rival BYU at 8 p.m. on ESPN2

<p><h3></h3></p><p><h3>Halftime</h3></p><p><p><!–[photo id=764809]–></p></p><p><p>Gonzaga had as impressive an offensive performance as its had in recent memory, shooting 67.6% from the field and 66.7% on 3-pointers to lead BYU 61-49 at halftime.</p></p><p><p>The Cougars trailed by 19 with 4:55 remaining in the half, but cut the lead to 12, shooting 5-for-5 on 3-pointers.</p></p><p><p>The Zags have four players in double figures, led by Strawther with 16. Nembhard added 13 points with five assists, while Timme had 12 and Holmgren had 10 points, five rebounds and two blocks.</p></p><p><p>GU is averaging 1.6 points per possession, while BYU has 1.23.</p></p><p><p><strong>Impact performance</strong></p></p><p><p><!–[photo id=764810]–></p></p><p><h3>First half</h3></p><p><p><strong>2:05 – GU 53, BYU 40:</strong> The Cougars force a GU timeout, as they score a quick five points out of the U4 media timeout.</p></p><p><p><strong>4:47 – GU 46, BYU 27:</strong> The Cougars take a timeout as the Zags assert their dominance with a 15-2 run over the last 4:23.</p></p><p><p>Nembhard is up to 13 points, while Holmgren adds eight with five rebounds and two blocks. Strawther still leads with 14.</p></p><p><p><strong>7:54 – GU 35, BYU 25:</strong> Timme makes a layup under the basket to give the Zags a 10-point lead at the U8 media timeout.</p></p><p><p>Timme and Holmgren each have five points apiece, as Holmgren adds five rebounds and a block.</p></p><p><p>Bulldogs hold a 14-8 scoring advantage on points off turnovers and lead 6-2 on fast break points. BYU has six turnovers to GU’s four.</p></p><p><p><!—-></p></p><p><p><strong>11:20 – GU 26, BYU 22:</strong> Both teams shooting red hot at the U12 media timeout, but nobody more than Strawther who is 5 of 5 from the field and has 14 points.</p></p><p><p>Nembhard made back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Zags at 67% on the night, making 6 of 7 since missing its opening two attempts from beyond the arc.</p></p><p><p>Barcello leading BYU with eight points, as the Cougars are shooting 4 of 7 on 3-pointers. </p></p><p><p><!—-></p></p><p><p><strong>16:49 – GU 13, BYU 10:</strong> The Zags answer the Cougars’ run with a 10-0 run of their own. Barcello ends the run with a 3-pointer for BYU, which is answered by a 3-pointer from Strawther.</p></p><p><p>Strawther has scored 10 of the Zags’ 13 points, shooting 4 of 4 from the field and 2 of 2 on 3-pointers.</p></p><p><p><strong>18:45 – BYU 7, GU 0:</strong> The Cougars jump out to a quick lead, making three-straight baskets after a Holmgren block. The Bulldogs have missed two quick 3-pointers from Nembhard and Bolton.</p></p><p><p><!—-> </p></p><p><h3>Starting 5</h3></p><p><p><!–[photo id=764808]–></p></p><p><p>Same starting five for the Zags of Holmgren, Timme, Strawther, Bolton and Nembhard as tipoff is pushed back to 8:10 p.m. to accommodate the end of another game on ESPN2.</p></p><p><h3>Pregame</h3></p><p><p>Gonzaga hosts Brigham Young tonight for the first of the WCC rivalry series, which will be ended when the Cougars join the Big 12 Conference starting in 2023.</p></p><p><p>The No. 2 Zags (12-2, 1-0 WCC) started its conference schedule with a 117-83 rout of Pepperdine last Saturday, after it had three games postponed due to COVID-19. They will tipoff with the Cougars (14-3, 2-0) at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.</p></p><p><p>BYU got off to a hot start, beating San Diego State and dominating then-No. 12 Oregon in its first three games. The Cougars peaked at No. 12 in the AP top 25 poll, before an overtime loss to Utah Valley dropped them to No. 24 and a loss to Creighton knocked them off the list.</p></p><p><p>BYU also lost to Vanderbilt 69-67 on Dec. 23, but has won its last four including conference wins over Pacific and Saint Mary’s. The Cougars received two top 25 votes in last week’s AP poll, are No. 29 in the NET rankings and are No. 24 in Kenpom.</p></p><p><p><!—-></p></p><p><p><!—-></p></p><p><p><!—-></p></p><p><p><!—-></p></p><p><p><strong>Series history</strong></p></p><p><p>Gonzaga holds a 20-7 series lead over BYU in its short history dating back to the first meeting in 2011, where the Bulldogs lost 89-67 as a No. 11 seed to the No. 3 seed Cougars behind 34 points from National Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette.</p></p><p><p>The Zags have won 9 of the last 10 meetings.</p></p><p><p><!–[photoset id=1542]–></p></p><p><p><strong>Team stats</strong></p></p><p><p><!—-></p></p><p><p><strong>Individual leaders</strong></p></p><p><p><!—-></p></p><p><h3>Game preview</h3></p><p><p><!–[teaser id=988251]–></p></p><p><p><!–[teaser id=988227]–></p></p><p><h3>More on the Zags</h3></p><p><p><!–[teaser id=988204]–></p></p><p><p><!–[teaser id=988170]–></p></p><p><p><!–[teaser id=988243]–></p></p><p><p><!–[teaser id=988200]–></p></p>