SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)Killian Tillie took advantage of an off week for second-ranked Gonzaga, spending time working on his offense.
It paid off.
Tillie scored 22 points and blocked four shots to help the Bulldogs beat Pacific 92-59 on Saturday night for their 13th straight victory.
”We had a whole week to get ready” Tillie said. ”I did a lot of work on my shot. Then I made the first one and got rolling.”
Tillie made nine of his 11 shots, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range. He also grabbed eight rebounds and helped shut down the Pacific offense.
Corey Kispert added 16 points and Filip Petrusev had 15 for Gonzaga (21-1, 7-0 West Coast). The Bulldogs also won their 35th consecutive home game, the longest streak in the nation.
Ryan Woolridge scored 11 points and Joel Ayayi and Admon Gilder added 10 points each for the Bulldogs.
”We’re just balanced,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of having six players in double figures. ”We don’t just have one guy we go to. That’s nice.”
Jahlil Tripp scored 21 points and Pierre Crockrell II added 10 for Pacific (15-8, 3-4), which is making strides under fourth-year coach Damon Stoudamire. The Tigers have lost 15 in a row to Gonzaga.
Petrusev, who leads Gonzaga in scoring and rebounding, also made good use of the time off to recover from an ankle sprain suffered early in the second half last Saturday against BYU. Petrusev had to be helped off the floor in that game and did not return.
”He showed a lot of toughness. … to throw him into a game like this,” Few said, noting that ankle sprains are typically very painful. Pacific ”is the most physical team in the league,” Few said.
Gonzaga made 10 of its first 12 shots to jump to a 24-9 lead in the first eight minutes. Tillie and Petrusev accounted for 17 of those points.
Pacific started hitting shots, and Tripp’s basket cut Gonzaga’s lead to 30-22.
Tillie replied with consecutive 3-pointers to push the lead back to 14.
Gonzaga led 48-33 at halftime, behind 17 points by Tillie, who made all three of his 3-point attempts, and 12 from Petrusev.
The Zags shot in the 70s for much of the first half before finishing at 64.5%. Pacific shot 50% and Tripp finished with 15 first half points. But he was held to just six points in the second half after Gonzaga put Kispert and Gilder on him.
Gonzaga opened the second half with an 18-4 run, nine by Kispert, to build a 66-37 lead. Pacific made just one of 11 field goals during that run.
Pacific shot dramatically worse in the second half, making just 23.5% of its shots, and was held to 26 points.
”We did a great job defensively in the second half,” Tillie said.
”We contested better at the rim,” Few said.
”Our offense was cooking both halves,” he added.
Pacific coach Damon Stoudamire said the biggest problem was his team struggled to score.
Pacific shot just 35.5% in the game, compared to 56.9% for Gonzaga. The Zags also scored 42 points in the paint, compared to 22 for Pacific.
Gonzaga dropped from No. 1 on Monday despite winning two conference games by a total of 73 points last week. But the Zags should hold at No. 2.
Pacific: The Tigers have lost three straight games. … Pacific leads the WCC in defense at 64.2 points per game, but couldn’t slow Gonzaga, … Tripp averages 15.5 points per game, the only Pacific player in double figures. Tripp also leads the team with 8.4 rebounds per game.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring at 88.8 points per game, and lead in scoring margin at 22 points per game, … The Bulldogs are the only team that has six players averaging double figures in scoring.
Pacific: Host Loyola Marymount on Thursday night.
Gonzaga: At Santa Clara on Thursday night.
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