Norvell helps No. 13 Gonzaga bounce back to beat Santa Clara
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Zach Norvell Jr. scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, and No. 13 Gonzaga bounced back from its first conference loss of the season to beat Santa Clara 75-60 on Saturday night.
Josh Perkins added 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting, Rui Hachimura scored 16 points and Killian Tillie had 12. Johnathan Williams had nine points and eight boards for Gonzaga (17-4, 7-1 West Coast Conference), including his 400th career rebound.
Two days after a 74-71 home loss to Saint Mary’s that ended Gonzaga’s six-game winning streak, the Bulldogs had trouble shaking the pesky Broncos (7-13, 4-4) until Norvell found his stroke after halftime.
Norvell made pair of 3s, a short jumper and a layup in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the second half, scored on an offensive rebound as part of a 12-0 run, and then made a fast-break one-handed dunk to put the Bulldogs up 75-41.
It was Gonzaga’s 17th consecutive win over the Broncos and improved coach Mark Few’s record to 40-4 against Santa Clara.
KJ Feagin scored 21 points for the Broncos.
Unlike the first game between the teams this season, when Gonzaga built 27-point lead by halftime on the way to a win in Spokane, Santa Clara kept it close early despite struggling from beyond the arc.
The Broncos missed eight of their first nine 3-point attempts but were tied with 8 1/2 minutes left in the first half following Josip Vrankic’s driving layup that had the crowd at Leavey Center roaring.
Part of the problem for Gonzaga was the Bulldogs’ inability to keep Feagin from getting to the basket. He had 12 points in the first 20 minutes, made three layups and tipped in his own miss to help Santa Clara close within seven at halftime.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have not lost back-to-back games this season and looked good after a somewhat slow start. Norvell provided a huge boost but the Zags also got another big game from Hachimura, who has scored in double figures in nine consecutive games.
Santa Clara: Coming off a win at San Francisco, the Broncos made a splash in the first half at home to keep things interesting. They never had the Bulldogs on their heels, but it was a much better effort than their first meeting.
Gonzaga: At Portland on Thursday.
Santa Clara: At San Diego on Thursday.
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