SPOKANE, Wash. — Elias Harris isn’t a point guard. He played the position Wednesday night.
Gonzaga’s forward had 11 points and a career-high six assists as the 14th-ranked Bulldogs cruised into the holiday break with a 74-52 victory over Campbell.
Five of Harris’ assists gave easy baskets for 7-foot-1 freshman Przemek Karnowski, who led Gonzaga (11-1) with 14 points.
“I’m unselfish enough to give it up for him, let him score,” Harris said. “He finished strong. That’s the right thing to do.”
But calling it an audition for point guard is a stretch.
“I wouldn’t go that far,” he said with a laugh. “I do what I can do help my team out. That was the case.”
Kelly Olynyk added 12 points and Gary Bell Jr. had 11 for the Bulldogs, who shot 61 percent in racing to a 49-24 halftime lead over Campbell, which was playing in the state of Washington for the first time.
The Camels (3-8) were without leading scorer Darren White (21.9), who missed his fourth straight game with a hand injury. Trey Freeman led Campbell with 17 points and Darian Hooker added 11.
“I thought we played pretty good defense throughout the whole game, holding them to 30 percent shooting,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “We were pretty darn efficient on offense, especially in the first half to put the game away.
“Good job by the guys getting us to the break with only one loss with such a daunting schedule.”
The Bulldogs led by as many as 31 points in second half before a Campbell run combined with a Gonzaga cold spell as the game got sloppy in the final 13 minutes made it a bit more respectable.
Gonzaga, which is home against Baylor in its next game Dec. 28, put the game away early. At the half, highlighted by a late 13-0 run, the Bulldogs had made all 13 of their free throws, had a 19-9 rebounding advantage and forced nine turnovers by the Camels, who shot 36 percent.
“We were pitiful in defensive transition early and their press, I was not expecting to be pressed,” Campbell coach Robbie Laing said. “Their press was way more effective than I thought it would be. (That) allowed them to separate early and coast the rest of the way.”
Few said, “They were really intent on running 30 seconds off the clock in each possession so we wanted to press and speed them up a little bit, especially early when the game was in the balance.”
The Bulldogs finished with 33 points off the bench and 44 in the paint, in addition to scoring 18 points off 15 Camel turnovers.
“It’s extremely nice to go home for a little bit, rest, refocus and be back on the 25th,” Harris said. “I’m absolutely happy. I wish we could be 12-0 but against Illinois we didn’t play our best, we didn’t play smart and that’s what we get. … We can be happy where we’re at but not satisfied.”
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