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2010 CBE Classic: Zone Helps Gonzaga Take A 42-33 Halftime Lead Against Marquette

Tonight’s game against Marquette started out really rough for Gonzaga.

Marquette was spreading the court and driving hard to the basket and although Steven Gray was hot – shooting 5-for-9 from beyond the arc – Gonzaga was getting caught up in a pace and style of play that didn’t favor them.

Then they implemented a zone defense and the face of the game seemed to change rather rapidly.

With Marquette’s strategy of driving to the rim taken away, they were forced to work the ball around longer to find gaps in the zone. With Demetri Goodson at the point and the team using its comparative length to shut down gaps, Marquette’s offense stalled.

If you were under the impression that Gonzaga’s toughness was in doubt, perhaps this game hasn’t done a whole lot to challenge that. But one thing they have done is show that they can impose their will on a game and stay with it even when they’re down, something they demonstrated for stretches last night against Kansas State.

At halftime, Gray is leading Gonzaga with 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting while Elias Harris tied him for the team-high with 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom lead Marquette with eight apiece.