Gonzaga Rolls Past Men’s Basketball

Gonzaga Rolls Past Men’s Basketball

SPOKANE, Wash. – With its full complement of players back on the floor, Gonzaga was firing on all cylinders in its West Coast Conference opener.

Rui Hachimura posted 25 points and Brandon Clarke scored 16 with five blocks to lead the No. 7/8 Bulldogs to a convincing 91-48 victory over Santa Clara men's basketball on Saturday.

Hachimura and Clarke were the only players in double figures for the Zags (14-2, 1-0), who shot 52 percent from the floor, including a blistering 57 percent in the opening half, but seven others tallied five or more points.

Keshawn Justice posted 14 points off the bench and Josip Vrankic scored 11 for the Broncos (9-7, 1-1) who turned the ball over a season-high 23 times and shot just 33 percent from the floor in seeing their six-game winning streak snapped.

Josh Perkins tallied only six points, but played a solid all-around game, adding five assists (with no turnovers), four steals and five rebounds for Gonzaga, which was never threatened in the game.

The Zags built on a 50-27 halftime lead with an 11-0 run that gave them a 70-35 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the game. The Broncos were never closer than 33 the rest of the way.

Killian Tillie and Geno Crandall returned from injury to add to an already deep lineup for the top shooting team in the nation. Tillie recorded five points in nine minutes before fouling out and Crandall scored eight, including five during the second-half run.

About the only thing the Zags didn't do was connect from long range. They were only 5 of 19 from behind the 3-point line.

But Gonzaga made up for that deficiency but out-scoring the Broncos 48-20 on points in the paint and 28-4 off turnovers.

"We'll just keep working to get better," Santa Clara head coach Herb Sendel said. "Hopefully learn from this experience like we do from all our experiences."

Gonzaga raced out to an early lead fueled by Hachimura who posted 18 of the team's first 28 points, most of them from close range.

A 3-pointer from Corey Kispert, who scored nine in the game, gave the Zags a 33-14 lead with 8 minutes left in the first half. Perkins' dunk a few minutes later increased the edge to 45-25.

Coming off a career-high 30 points in Thursday's conference-opening win over San Diego, Tahj Eaddy scored just 10 on just 4-for-16 from the floor.

Gonzaga registered 14 steals, one off its season high, and turned the ball over just eight times.

• In a series which began in 1946, Gonzaga leads, 62-30. The Bulldogs have won the last 18 meetings. Santa Clara's last victory occurred on Jan. 20, 2011, when the Broncos downed the Bulldogs, 85-71, in Leavey Center.

The Broncos play Pepperdine at home on Thursday. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.

Connect with the Broncos on Social Media
• Athletics: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Snapchat
• Men's Basketball: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Snapchat