Various members of Gonzaga’s backcourt have been spotlighted and helped the Bulldogs win their last three West Coast Conference games.
Malachi Smith happily accepted the role against Portland on Saturday.
The senior move did it differently than Russell Bolton, Nolan Hickman and Julian Strother did, but Smith made a big mark in Gonzaga’s 115-75 loss to Portland, giving the Bulldogs a shot at the 115-75 loss. Brought 11 straight wins and 75 straight wins. while improving GU’s conference record to 5-0.
Smith’s perimeter shot helped the Bulldogs establish a large lead early on, and the Chattanooga transfer ended with a season-high 27 points and made a career-high seven 3-pointers at the McCarthy Athletic Center. rice field.
He finished 9 of 13 games off the field and had 8 rebounds and 5 assists in 24 minutes.
“He’s got some guys, it’s a crowded backcourt, right? So he played a very, very, very good game for us,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few Smith. talked about “He helped us win where we really needed him. He was the best player before.”
Smith’s seven 3-pointers were the third-most by a Gonzaga player in a single game. If he had one more, he would have equaled nine bulldogs in the game at least eight times he succeeded.
“I always feel good when the first player comes in,” Smith said. “When the first one falls, the rim looks like a sea. and I have faith and confidence in myself, so don’t even think about it.”
Gonzaga’s outside shots were the best of the season as the Bulldogs made 17-of-38 3-point shots. If he had one more 3-pointer, GU would have tied Chantilly with his athletic center record for McCarthy, which was set in last season’s game against Legance’s pilots.
Smith was not part of that game, but suggested Portland’s defensive strategy was to clog the paint and rob Gonzaga’s looks in the post. I gave the Bulldogs 104 points in that game.
“I think I just ran in transition and found an open spot,” said Smith. “Their game plan was kind of packed with paint, so we knew the shooter was ready to shoot. We hit a lot of his threes as a team, so it was As for you, it was kind of a ready-to-shoot mentality.”
Gonzaga’s crowded backcourt may be a rare opportunity, but Smith has made the most of it more than once this season. In Gonzaga’s only other game against his team in Portland’s Division I, Smith scored 23 points as he scored 23 points as he made five of his 3-pointers, helping the Bulldogs fill his night in Portland in his legacy. I helped get pulled away from Rand State University.
Smith has a 54% three-shot percentage this season and has crossed the arc 27-of-50. He has hit at least three of his 3-pointers in his four games.
“Certainly I think it’s helped his confidence and I think it opens up more floors for us going forward,” Few said. “It’s not really out of body. He can really, really shoot. He shot Chattanooga well.”