Forward Drew Timme scored a career-high 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting as top-ranked Gonzaga opened its season with a 102-90 victory against No. 6 Kansas on Thursday afternoon at the Fort Myers Tip-Off in Florida.
Freshman Jalen Suggs, a top-10 prospect who is Gonzaga's highest-ever recruit, scored 24 points and had a game-high eight assists. Corey Kispert, a preseason All-American, added 23 points for the Bulldogs, who will play Auburn in the tournament Friday.
Marcus Garrett led the Jayhawks with 22 points and Ochai Agbaji scored 17. Freshman Bryce Thompson, whose father played for coach Bill Self at Tulsa, added 12 points and Jalen Wilson scored 11.
Kansas and Gonzaga finished last season ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the polls. But a potential showdown in the NCAA Tournament was dashed when the tournament was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, they ended up meeting on Thanksgiving.
Kansas' only lead came after it scored the game's first basket.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 14 points in the first half, 29-15, with 11:25 left.
Kansas cut the margin to 54-46 by halftime and tied it at 56-all with 17:02 remaining but wasn't able to regain the lead.
A layup by Garrett pulled the Jayhawks within 72-71 with 10:18 remaining, but Timme responded with a fast-break layup to spark a 13-2 run by the Zags. Kansas never got within 10 points the rest of the way.
Joel Ayayi added 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds for Gonzaga. Fellow guard Andrew Nembhard, a transfer from Florida who only received his NCAA eligibility waiver Tuesday, scored 11 points.
Gonzaga shot 64.5 percent (40 of 62) from the field in giving coach Mark Few his 600th career victory. The Zags had a 33-24 edge in rebounding and outscored the Jayhawks 62-34 in the paint and 28-15 on the fast break.
--Field Level Media