Former Texas A&M guard Admon Gilder and graduate transfer Ryan Woolridge posted 16 points each for Gonzaga in a 79-49 rout of A&M at Reed Arena Friday night.
The eighth-ranked Bulldogs improve to 4-0 after their first road came of the season, while the Aggies fall to 2-1.
Seeing Gilder return to A&M and playing a solid game for the Bulldogs after sitting out last year with injury with a blood clot left A&M guard Savion Flagg impressed in his former teammate.
“His health was the reason that he didn’t play last year,” Flagg said after the game. “Most people would get cleared from that type of thing is very special.”
Despite leading for the first three minutes of the contest, A&M wasn’t able to keep up with Gonzaga’s pace and defensive efficiency. The Bulldogs took over the game in the 10 minutes leading into halftime, going on a 31-5 run that would put them up 40-19.
“They whipped us from start-to-finish,” A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “At halftime we had zero assists, and ten turnovers. Good teams usually have 11 turnovers per game … [we] for sure need to have more than zero assists.”
A&M wouldn’t be able to recover, but competed in the second half with Gonzaga - recording 30 points to the Bulldogs 39.
Gonzaga excelled in nearly every aspect of the game, but the rebounding is what impressed coach Mark Few the most throughout the contest.
“Obviously [forward Anton Watson] has a knack for them,” Few said. “For us those guards rebounding, I thought [Woolridge] down there poking at some, even if he didn’t get them, [Gilder] was getting some, our best teams are when our guards rebound.”
The Bulldogs finished with 46 rebounds, including 15 on the offensive end, and finished with 13 points off the second-chance opportunities.
Guard Wendell Mitchell led the Aggies in scoring with 14 points, along with forward Josh Nebo with 11. The senior forward impressed in his second game on the floor, shooting three-of-four from the floor and a season-high of 25 minutes of play.
Few said that he thinks that Williams will put together a successful program at A&M despite a potential rough year ahead of the Aggies.
“I’ve followed him wherever he’s been,” Few said. “What he did at Marquette and how he evaluates and gets the type of guys that ended up being way better than anybody else thought … His teams at Virginia Tech were tough as nails, you didn’t want to run into them in the NCAA Tournament.”
Williams said despite of the rough loss at home, the Aggies have a lot to learn from big games like these.
“There’s lessons throughout, in every possible way,” coach Buzz Williams said after the game. “Regardless of opponent, or who’s playing, relative to where we’re at and where we need to get to, every situation is an opportunity to learn.”
The Aggies will face Troy on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Reed Arena before hitting the road for the Orlando Invitational. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network +.