College basketball: Gonzaga beats Kansas in season opener, Illinois defeats Chicago State, VCU falls to West Virginia

NO. 1 GONZAGA 102, NO. 6 KANSAS 90

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Drew Timme scored 25 points, Jalen Suggs added 24 and Corey Kispert had 23 to help No. 1 Gonzaga beat No. 6 Kansas 102-90 on Thursday in the season opener for both teams.

The Bulldogs built a double-digit lead at the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off in the first half, and saw the Jayhawks tie twice in the second half before hitting them. Gonzaga made a 22-7 run to rise 96-78.

Suggs, who ran into problems in the first half, scored 17 of his 24 in the second half.

Marcus Garrett led Kansas with 22 runs and Ochai Agbaji added 17 runs. Agbai got his fourth foul in the middle of the second half, which hurt the Jayhawks. When he left, Kansas was down 70-67.

The Jayhawks rallied 14 points behind in the first half to reach 57 points.

On Friday, Gonzaga will play against Auburn and Kansas will take on St. Joseph’s.

NO. 8 ILLINOIS 97, STATE OF CHICAGO 38

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Ayo Dosunmu scored 22 points, freshman Andres Curbelo added 18 and Illinois led Chicago State.

The Illini (2-0) scored the first nine runs and led 47-17 at half time. They will host Ohio in the third round of the multi-team event on Friday before playing against No. 2 Baylor on Wednesday.

Adam Miller added 15 points and Kofi Cockburn finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Illinois shot 60% of the field.

Xavier Johnson led Chicago State (0-2) with 10 points. Chicago State coach Lance Irvin has pulled out of the season over concerns about COVID-19. Assistant Rodell Davis coaches the team in Irvin’s absence.

NO. 15 WEST VIRGINIA 78, VCU 66

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Derek Culver had 23 points and 15 rebounds to No. 15 to help West Virginia defeat VCU 78-66 in the semifinals of the Bad Boys Mowers Crossover Classic.

West Virginia (2-0) will face Western Kentucky in the last Friday.

Culver recovered from a seven-point game Wednesday night in the Mountaineers’ opening win over South Dakota, finishing twice shy of his career high. He was 8 out of 14 from the field.

Sean McNeil added 16 points and Oscar Tshiebwe had 11 points and 16 rebounds.

Nah’Shon Hyland led the Rams (1-1) with 13 points.

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