Petrusev scores 31 as Gonzaga takes down Santa Clara 87-72, Killian Tillie injures ankle


SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Just two weeks removed from hammering Santa Clara by 50 at home, the second-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs were treated to a much feistier Broncos team Thursday night.

The Zags led the entire night, but that doesn’t mean Santa Clara didn’t give them some scares, including one they didn’t have control over. The Bulldogs built an eight point lead in the first half when Killian Tillie rolled his left ankle and went down for over a minute. He had to be helped off the court and put no weight on his ankle. At halftime, we learned he was questionable to return to play. Tillie did return to the bench after the halftime warm up, with his ankle heavily taped.

Before that, the Broncos got within one point after a Trey Wertz three-pointer. Gonzaga led 40-36 at the break.

Filip Petrusev was essential and efficient in the second half, scoring ten points to help Gonzaga back to a 55-48 lead. He hit 14 of 18 shots from the field, and finished with 31 points.

Santa Clara got within six a few times in the 2nd, but the Bulldogs had enough of an answer each time. Ryan Woolridge scored 13 points and six assists. Contrary to their normal scoring pattern, Gonzaga only had three players score in double figures.

Freshman Drew Timme was aggressive from beginning to end, scoring 11 points and filling in for Tillie with a tough presence down low. He added five rebounds and two blocks.

As a team, Gonzaga shot  49% from two, but had their roughest shooting night from three, going 3-of-16 for 18%. The Zags still earn their 14th straight win, 87-72 over Santa Clara. The second-ranked Zags outscored the Broncos 62-40 inside the paint. They improve to 8-0 in the WCC, the only undefeated team in the conference.

They play Saturday at University of San Francisco at 1 p.m.