Joel Ayayi had 21 points and seven rebounds and Andrew Nembhard added 19 points and six assists to lead No. 1 Gonzaga to an 87-82 victory Wednesday night against No. 11 West Virginia at the Jimmy V Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Corey Kispert (19 points) and Drew Timme (17) followed in double figures for the Bulldogs, who improved to 3-0 behind 61.8 percent shooting in the second half.
Derek Culver notched a double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds for West Virginia. Oscar Tshiebwe had 14 points and nine rebounds and Gabe Osabuohien added 10 points, but both big men fouled out for the Mountaineers (3-1) down the stretch.
Taz Sherman (12 points) and Miles McBride (10) rounded out a balanced West Virginia attack.
Tshiebwe and Culver combined for 17 points and 17 rebounds in the first half, including five offensive boards, to help the Mountaineers to a 39-34 advantage at halftime. West Virginia established its size advantage early and led by as many as nine points before the break.
With Culver, Tshiebwe and Osabuohien battling foul trouble down the stretch, Timme helped Gonzaga seize control. The forward, who shot just 1-for-9 in the first 20 minutes, scoring three points, converted a three-point play with 9:13 remaining to give the Bulldogs a 61-58 lead.