Young Kwak, AP
Utah Valley forward Jared Stutzman (24) goes after the ball against Gonzaga forward Zach Collins, left, and Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Spokane, Wash., Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. Gonzaga won 92-69. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

SPOKANE, Wash. — Silas Melson scored 17 points and Jordan Mathews had 16 as No. 14 Gonzaga beat Utah Valley 92-69 in the season opener for both teams on Friday night.

Nigel Williams-Goss added 14 points for Gonzaga, which was 28-8 last season and advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

Conner Toolson scored 19 points and Kenneth Ogbe added 13 for Utah Valley, which was 12-18 last season.

Gonzaga outshot the Wolverines 52 percent to 36 percent and dominated the rebounding 52-30.

Gonzaga made its first three shots to take an 8-0 lead. Mathews' 3-pointer, part of a 9-0 run, helped push the Bulldogs' lead to 28-13.

Utah Valley put together a 12-2 run, and consecutive 3-pointers by Toolson and Ogbe cut Gonzaga's lead to 30-25. It was the closest they would come to the lead.

Gonzaga responded with a 15-7 run to take a 45-32 lead at halftime.

Przemek Karnowski's stuff highlighted an 8-2 run early in the second half that gave Gonzaga a 56-37 lead.

The Wolverines cut Gonzaga's lead to 63-50 on Isaac Neilson's basket midway through the second half. But Gonzaga pushed the lead back to 20 points on Killian Tillie's basket with 7:56 left and was not threatened again.

Karnowski, a 7-foot-1 center who missed most of last season with a back injury, returned to the lineup and had 14 points and seven rebounds

Gonzaga has won 13 straight season openers dating to a 2003 loss to Saint Joseph's.

Gonzaga, a new-look team sporting four transfer students, is favored to win the West Coast Conference again this season.


Utah Valley: The scrappy Wolverines kept it close for much of the first half, but didn't have the talent to run with the Bulldogs in the first meeting between the programs.

Gonzaga: Gonzaga has made the NCAA Tournament every year since 1999 and the Zags showed they have the talent to make it 19 straight years.


Utah Valley hosts Idaho State on Wednesday

Gonzaga hosts San Diego State on Monday