Gonzaga blows past Pepperdine by 26; advancing to another WCC Championship

Gonzaga blows past Pepperdine by 26; advancing to another WCC Championship
Rui Hachimura with the reverse.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs took serious advantage of their double bye into the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament. They ran the Pepperdine Waves, who were playing their fourth game in five days, up and down the court all night long in a semifinals matchup Monday, winning 100-74.

Five Zags scored in double figures, led by Zach Norvell Jr. with 18. His NBA-range three in the first half was part of a 21-5 run compiled by the Bulldogs in the first half.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of that run was the return of preseason All-American junior forward Killian Tillie, who missed most of the regular season due to injury. He went three-for-three from beyond the arc, scoring all of nine points in first frame.

A tip-in shot by Zach Norvell Jr. beat the buzzer to help Gonzaga to a 21-point halftime lead.

In the first seven minutes of the second half, Corey Kispert hit two threes, Zach Norvell Jr. had two layins, and Brandon Clarke and Rui Hachimura threw down some thunderous dunks, and Gonzaga was up 40 points with 10 minutes left in the game.

Hachimura finished with 16 points and two blocked shots, Clarke went 6-7 from the field for 15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, two blocks and a steal. Kispert and Perkins chipped in 11 points a piece.

Mark Few was able to pull his starters with 10 minutes to go, preparing for their 22nd WCC championship appearance against the winner of Saint Mary’s and San Diego.