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No. 6 Gonzaga rallies to beat San Diego, 77-72

SAN DIEGO (AP) Gonzaga coach Mark Few stared at the box score after beating the University of San Diego and shook his head.

''Nothing really jumps out at you,'' Few said. ''It was an even game but we hung with it.''

Killian Tillie scored 17 points and Rui Hachimura added 16 in No. 6 Gonzaga's 77-72 victory on Thursday night that clinched at least a share of the West Coast Conference title.

''A lot of people wrote us off to win the league after we dropped that early one at home to Saint Mary's,'' Few said. ''So I had to ask the players, `How bad did they want it?'''

The Bulldogs (26-4, 16-1 WCC) defeated the Toreros (17-12, 8-9) for the eighth straight game and for the 19th time in their last 20 meetings.

Olin Cater III led San Diego with 21 points.

After trailing at halftime and falling behind by eight points in the second half, the Bulldogs didn't seize the lead until midway through the second half, when Tillie's 3-pointer made it 52-51.

It was a back-and-forth affair from there, with the Toreros relying on their stingy defense to slow the up-tempo Bulldogs. In the game's final three minutes, San Diego was down by just three points on three occasions.

But Gonzaga had too much firepower and was helped by four straight free throws from Hachimura when taking the lead for good with four minutes remaining.

''Things were not going great for us,'' Few said. ''They hit some crazy shots and came out and played inspired on both ends and made some plays. But we were really, really good down the stretch.''

The Toreros are known for their defense but it was the Bulldogs holding San Diego without a field goal over a six-minute stretch late in the game that was the difference. Few went to his bigger lineup with Tillie, Hachimura and Johnathan Williams and it paid off.

''It was great the coaches had confidence in us to get it done down low,'' said Williams, who scored seven points after being slowed by a sprained ankle in the first half. ''But you have to give everyone credit because it was definitely a team effort because we got all those stops as a team.''

San Diego coach Lamont Smith wasn't interested in hearing how his squad played the Bulldogs close for the second time this season.

''We've got to get over the hump,'' Smith said. ''I'm really proud of our guys but there are no moral victories.''

Gonzaga demolished San Diego in last year's visit by 58 points. The Bulldogs built an early six-point lead in this one but San Diego rebounded , tying the score at 27 with five minutes left on the first of three straight 3-point baskets by Carter. When he hit his second one, San Diego had a three-point advantage, its first edge since the game's opening bucket.

Tyler Williams' mid-range jumper gave San Diego a 35-30 lead and it was 37-34 at halftime. San Diego finished the first 20 minutes by converting 4 of 7 3-point shots.

But San Diego struggled in the second half, going 11 of 32 (34 percent) from the field and 3 of 14 (21 percent) on 3-pointers.

''We've had our share of these types of games,'' Few said. ''This season hasn't been easy for us. But you try to draw positives from that. We were down, but we buckled down and played pretty efficiently down the stretch.''

BIG PICTURE

Gonzaga: When Gonzaga fell behind early in the game, it was the first time it had trailed in four games. ... The Bulldogs have earned at least a share of the WCC title in 17 of the past 18 seasons and 18 of the last 20. ... Gonzaga is the only team in the nation with seven players to score at least 20 points in a game this season.

University of San Diego: The highest-ranked team the Toreros have beaten is No. 14 UCLA in the 2002-03 season. ... Forward Cameron Neubauer was honored before the game on senior night.

UP NEXT

Gonzaga is at BYU on Saturday night.

San Diego is at San Francisco on Saturday night.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
J. Perkins
13 G
I. Wright
22 G
34.4 Min. Per Game 34.4
12.5 Pts. Per Game 12.5
5.6 Ast. Per Game 5.6
5.3 Reb. Per Game 5.3
43.1 Field Goal % 40.7
41.4 Three Point % 33.3
76.4 Free Throw % 70.5
  Defensive rebound by Silas Melson 1.0
  Olin Carter III missed 3-pt. jump shot 3.0
+ 1 Rui Hachimura made 2nd of 2 free throws 6.0
+ 1 Rui Hachimura made 1st of 2 free throws 6.0
  Personal foul on Tyler Williams 6.0
+ 3 Olin Carter III made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Isaiah Wright 6.0
+ 1 Silas Melson made 2nd of 2 free throws 11.0
+ 1 Silas Melson made 1st of 2 free throws 11.0
  Personal foul on Jose Martinez 11.0
+ 2 Isaiah Wright made driving layup 12.0
+ 1 Killian Tillie made 2nd of 2 free throws 15.0
Team Stats
Points 77 72
Field Goals 24-55 (43.6%) 24-58 (41.4%)
3-Pointers 8-17 (47.1%) 7-21 (33.3%)
Free Throws 21-25 (84.0%) 17-20 (85.0%)
Total Rebounds 34 33
Offensive 9 8
Defensive 22 22
Team 3 3
Assists 9 11
Steals 2 3
Blocks 3 3
Turnovers 9 11
Fouls 21 22
Technicals 0 0
17 PTS, 6 REB
21 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo 6 Gonzaga 26-4 344377
home team logo San Diego 17-12 373572
Team Stats
away team logo 6 Gonzaga 26-4 94.1 PPG 43.4 RPG 19.5 APG
home team logo San Diego 17-12 77.8 PPG 38.6 RPG 17.2 APG
Key Players
00
K. Tillie F PPG RPG APG FG%
3
O. Carter III G 16.4 PPG 2.6 RPG 2.0 APG 48.4 FG%
Top Scorers
K. Tillie F 17 PTS 6 REB 0 AST
O. Carter III G 21 PTS 4 REB 1 AST
43.6 FG% 41.4
47.1 3PT FG% 33.3
84.0 FT% 85.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. Tillie 33 17 6 0 0 0 0 0 6/11 2/4 3/4 2 4
J. Williams 28 11 9 1 1 2 1 4 5/7 0/0 1/2 2 7
J. Perkins 39 10 1 4 0 0 4 4 2/8 2/3 4/4 1 0
Z. Norvell Jr. 28 7 1 1 0 1 4 2 2/10 1/4 2/3 0 1
S. Melson 21 6 1 3 0 0 0 4 1/3 1/3 3/4 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. Tillie 33 17 6 0 0 0 0 0 6/11 2/4 3/4 2 4
J. Williams 28 11 9 1 1 2 1 4 5/7 0/0 1/2 2 7
J. Perkins 39 10 1 4 0 0 4 4 2/8 2/3 4/4 1 0
Z. Norvell Jr. 28 7 1 1 0 1 4 2 2/10 1/4 2/3 0 1
S. Melson 21 6 1 3 0 0 0 4 1/3 1/3 3/4 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
R. Hachimura 27 16 8 0 1 0 0 3 4/10 0/0 8/8 1 7
C. Kispert 20 10 4 0 0 0 0 3 4/6 2/3 0/0 3 1
J. Jones 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1
J. Larsen 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
A. Martin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Beach - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Ayayi - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Wade - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Pete - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 77 31 9 2 3 9 21 24/55 8/17 21/25 9 22
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
O. Carter III 38 21 4 1 1 0 1 2 7/13 5/9 2/2 0 4
I. Wright 38 14 2 6 1 0 2 4 4/13 1/4 5/5 0 2
Y. Massalski 18 11 7 0 0 2 1 1 4/5 0/0 3/3 2 5
T. Williams 32 5 5 1 0 0 0 3 1/7 0/3 3/4 3 2
C. Neubauer 18 4 1 0 0 0 0 5 1/1 0/0 2/2 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
O. Carter III 38 21 4 1 1 0 1 2 7/13 5/9 2/2 0 4
I. Wright 38 14 2 6 1 0 2 4 4/13 1/4 5/5 0 2
Y. Massalski 18 11 7 0 0 2 1 1 4/5 0/0 3/3 2 5
T. Williams 32 5 5 1 0 0 0 3 1/7 0/3 3/4 3 2
C. Neubauer 18 4 1 0 0 0 0 5 1/1 0/0 2/2 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
I. Pineiro 31 14 6 1 0 1 5 3 6/14 1/4 1/3 1 5
J. Gray 13 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 1/3 0/1 1/1 0 0
A. Floresca 12 0 5 1 1 0 1 3 0/2 0/0 0/0 2 3
J. Martinez - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Summy - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Schafer - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Nelson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Calcaterra - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Ferguson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Hylton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Jonah - - - - - - - - - - - - -
V. Ferrari - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Gilliam - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 72 30 11 3 3 11 22 24/58 7/21 17/20 8 22