Gonzaga Answers Test, Beats San Diego
SPOKANE, Wash. — Johnathan Williams scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as No. 14 Gonzaga edged stubborn San Diego 69-59 on Thursday night in a defensive battle.
Josh Perkins and Zach Norvell Jr. each scored 13 for Gonzaga (20-4, 10-1 West Coast), which has won 18 of the past 19 games against the Toreros.
Olin Carter III scored 21 points for San Diego (15-8, 6-5), a surprise team in the league this year.
Neither team shot well, with Gonzaga making 41 percent and San Diego just 33 percent from the floor.
In the first, Gonzaga went on a 12-0 run while the Toreros were in the midst of a 1 for 9 slump to take a 31-20 lead.
Gonzaga led 36-27 after a first half in which they held San Diego to 27 percent shooting (8 of 30).
San Diego opened the second half with a 13-2 run, including a pair of 3-pointers by Tyler Williams, to take a 40-38 lead.
But the Toreros did not score for more than eight minutes, missing 12 shots, and Gonzaga replied with an 11-0 run for a 49-40 lead.
San Diego stormed back and Isaiah Pineiro’s 3-pointer brought them within a point at 51-50. But it was a last gasp.
Norvell hit a 3 to lift Gonzaga to a 61-54 lead with 3:02 left.
The teams traded baskets, but the Toreros could not make up ground.
San Diego: The Toreros came in on a two-game winning streak and are fourth in the league. They are one of the nation’s top defensive teams, limiting opponents to 64 points per game.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have won four in a row since losing to No. 13 Saint Mary’s. The Zags have never lost to the Toreros in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004. Gonzaga is the only team in the nation that has six players averaging in double figures and is third in the nation with an average of 88.2 points per game.
San Diego: It doesn’t get any easier for the Toreros, who host No. 13 Saint Mary’s on Saturday.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs on Saturday host BYU, the only team to defeat them in the regular season last year. Gonzaga’s only other loss was to North Carolina in the NCAA title game
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