Freshman Przemek Karnowski scored 22 points to lead No. 21 Gonzaga to a 103-65 win over Southern Utah on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Karnowski, a highly touted 7-foot-1 center from Poland, led six players in double figures. Guy Landry Edi scored a career-high 16 points, Sam Dower had 15, Elias Harris and David Stockton had 12 apiece and Kevin Pangos added 10.
Jackson Stevenett led Southern Utah with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Waded Collie added 10 points for the Thunderbirds.
Gonzaga, which was never threatened after halftime, opened the second half with a 12-2 run and allowed only one Southern Utah field goal in the first 5 minutes. A free throw by Gary Bell Jr. gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the night at 83-45 with 7:47 left.
Gonzaga led 44-27 at halftime despite Southern Utah making 48 percent of its shots. The Bulldogs forced 18 turnovers, commiting only four. Gonzaga attempted 18 more field-goals than the Thunderbirds and were 4 of 10 from behing the arc.
Gonzaga made 3-of-4 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the game and used a 14-2 run to build a 23-10 lead with 12:28 left. Stevenett kept Southern Utah close, scoring 10 of the Thunderbirds 13 points points in an eight minute span. Stevenett scored 12 first half points on 5-of-8 shooting.
A dunk by Guy Landry Edi, with 3:42 left, delighted the crowd and gave Gonzaga a 37-21 lead. The Bulldogs held Southern Utah to three field goals in the final 7 minutes.
Stevenett, a forward, is one of only two returning starters for the Thunderbirds. Guard Damon Heuir is the other starter from a year ago and scored five points on 2 of 11 shooting.
The Bulldogs are ranked No. 21 in the preseason Top 25 and are seeking their 15th straight NCAA tournament appearance. Gonzaga is returning four starters from a year ago. Harris, Pangos, Bell, Jr. and Mike Hart are returning, but Gonzaga will be without center Robert Sacre, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the last pick of the 2012 NBA Draft.
The Bulldogs nonconference schedule includes West Virginia, Clemson, Washington State, Illinois, No. 19 Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Butler.
The Thunderbirds spent the past 15 seasons in the Summit League/Mid-Continent Conference before moving to the Big Sky Conference this season. Southern Utah will return to the Spokane area on Feb. 16th to face conference opponent Eastern Washington in Cheney.
This was the head coaching debut for Nick Robinson. He's spent the last three season on the LSU staff before coming to Southern Utah.