74
TF 11
FINAL
End
2nd
ESPN
Mon Mar. 11
9:00pm
BONUS
100
TF 7
GONZAG
30-2
ML: +4808
GONZAG -23.5, O/U 156.5
ML: -10526
PEPPER
GONZAG

No Text

No. 1 Gonzaga blows out Pepperdine 100-74 in WCC semifinals

LAS VEGAS (AP) Zach Norvell Jr. doesn't believe there is a team in the country that can compete with No. 1 Gonzaga when it plays its best game.

The Bulldogs made a strong case to back the junior guard's boasts Monday night.

Norvell scored 18 points and top-ranked Gonzaga beat Pepperdine 100-74 in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament.

''When guys are clicking, we're on the same page, and just sharing the ball, Coach yells at us a lot `Just make the right basketball play,' Norvell said. ''You're rewarded when you play the game the right way. And I think that's something we've been trying to do a lot.''

The top-seeded Bulldogs outrebounded Pepperdine 37-28, outscored the Waves 13-2 in second-chance points, 29-13 in bench points, and dominated the No. 8 seed in fast-break points, 16-2.

Gonzaga (30-2) will look for its seventh straight WCC title Tuesday when it faces Saint Mary's.

Rui Hachimura scored 16 points, Brandon Clarke added 15 and Josh Perkins and Corey Kispert each scored 11 for Gonzaga.

''Just a terrific approach by the guys,'' Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. ''We had a lot of days off, you always wonder how that is going to play out. And to their credit, they came out and attacked the moment and really stayed with it. Even after halftime, they did a great job of really keeping the throttle down. Couldn't have went any better as far as how we wanted to start this tournament.''

Pepperdine had the luxury of warming up with three games in three nights, while Gonzaga was playing its first game of the tournament, something that proved costly for San Francisco and BYU on Saturday, when they were upset by the Waves and San Diego, respectively, in their first games of the event.

''I've been coming here for a while, since the AAU days, so I look at myself as a vet when I'm in Vegas,'' Norvell said. ''We look at it as a business trip, as we've been doing all year.''

The Bulldogs - who came into the game ranked first in the nation in field-goal percentage (53.4 percent), scoring margin (24.9 points per game) and scoring offense (89.8) - were all business and showed no rust whatsoever, going 39 for 62 (59.7 percent) from the field en route to their 21st straight victory by double digits.

Gonzaga has won those games by an average margin of 30.1 points.

The Bulldogs have won 37 straight against Pepperdine, including a 92-64 blowout in Spokane this season.

The Waves (16-18) were led by Colbey Ross, who scored a game-high 20 points. Eric Cooper Jr. added 16 points, while Jade Smith had 14.

''Gonzaga's really good,'' Pepperdine coach Lorenzo Romar said. ''I know I'm stating the obvious, but I've been a head coach for 22 years, and was an assistant at UCLA that won a national championship and I just told my team, `I know what that looks like.' They're really good.''

After falling behind 8-6, the Bulldogs erupted for a 23-5 run to seize control.

Gonzaga, which closed as 24 1/2-point favorite, never relinquished its double-digit lead after pulling ahead 24-13 with 9:40 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs got a boost from the return of Killian Tillie, who played for the first time since partially tearing a ligament in his right foot in early February. Tillie was 3 for 4 from the field in the first half, all 3-pointers, contributing during two separate scoring runs.

Few said Tillie's 5-on-5 practice time had been limited all week, and admittedly was winded after playing just 15 minutes.

''In my mind that was kind of the two runs I wanted him to have, and now we can keep building on that,'' Few said. ''And obviously we need to see how the plantar fascia reacts to going tonight. It sounded good after he came off the bench.''

Gonzaga didn't waste any time in the second half, as it opened with a 17-5 run, and increased that streak to 32-12 to put the game out of reach.

After shooting 58.6 percent in the first half, the Bulldogs were 20 for 33 (60.6 percent) from the field over the final 20 minutes.

BIG PICTURE

Gonzaga: The return of Tillie invoked a huge roar from the sold-out crowd. The 6-foot-10 junior from France had played in only nine games this season after missing the first half of the season with a stress fracture in his ankle, and then re-injuring his foot with the ligament tear on Feb. 7. Tillie finished with nine points and six rebounds in 15 minutes.

Pepperdine: The top 3-point shooting team in the league during the regular season couldn't find a groove. After hitting 14 of 28 from 3-point range in a 17-point upset of San Francisco in the quarterfinals and going 10 for 19 against Loyola Marymount in the second round, the Waves shot 37.5 percent (9 of 24) from beyond the arc against Gonzaga.

TWO DECADES EARLIER

Monday marked 20 years to the day Gonzaga got its first NCAA Tournament win, over Minnesota. The Bulldogs ousted three major-conference teams in 1999 and became the tournament darlings before falling to eventual champion Connecticut.

MORRISON HONORED

During a first-half timeout, former Gonzaga star Adam Morrison was announced as the 2019 WCC Hall of Fame inductee. Morrison, who was courtside as an analyst for the Gonzaga radio network, led the nation in scoring and was the conference's player of the year in 2006. He led the Bulldogs to three straight conference tournament titles.

UP NEXT

Pepperdine: Despite finishing the season two games under .500, the run to the West Coast semifinals and a notable skipper in second-year coach Romar could garner an invite to one of the lower-level postseason tournaments.

Gonzaga: Will play Saint Mary's in Tuesday's championship game.

Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
C. Ross
4 G
J. Perkins
13 G
31.0 Min. Per Game 31.0
11.0 Pts. Per Game 11.0
6.5 Ast. Per Game 6.5
2.9 Reb. Per Game 2.9
43.6 Field Goal % 46.2
39.1 Three Point % 37.7
84.9 Free Throw % 83.3
+ 3 Darryl Polk Jr. made 3-pt. jump shot 9.0
+ 2 Filip Petrusev made dunk 13.0
  Offensive rebound by Filip Petrusev 21.0
  Joel Ayayi missed 2nd of 2 free throws 21.0
  Joel Ayayi missed 1st of 2 free throws 20.0
  Personal foul on Jade Smith 21.0
  Defensive rebound by Joel Ayayi 24.0
  Jade Smith missed jump shot 26.0
+ 2 Jeremy Jones made driving layup 47.0
+ 3 Eric Cooper Jr. made 3-pt. jump shot 56.0
+ 2 Jeremy Jones made driving layup 1:06
Team Stats
Points 74 100
Field Goals 29-65 (44.6%) 37-62 (59.7%)
3-Pointers 9-24 (37.5%) 11-23 (47.8%)
Free Throws 7-9 (77.8%) 15-22 (68.2%)
Total Rebounds 28 37
Offensive 7 8
Defensive 17 28
Team 4 1
Assists 9 26
Steals 8 11
Blocks 2 5
Turnovers 16 13
Fouls 17 13
Technicals 0 0
20 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
18 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo Pepperdine 16-18 264874
home team logo 1 Gonzaga 30-2 4753100
Team Stats
away team logo Pepperdine 16-18 75.6 PPG 34.9 RPG 14.1 APG
home team logo 1 Gonzaga 30-2 87.6 PPG 41.8 RPG 18.1 APG
Key Players
4
C. Ross G 19.4 PPG 2.9 RPG 7.0 APG 43.7 FG%
23
Z. Norvell Jr. G 14.9 PPG 4.3 RPG 3.1 APG 43.4 FG%
Top Scorers
C. Ross G 20 PTS 5 REB 3 AST
Z. Norvell Jr. G 18 PTS 3 REB 3 AST
44.6 FG% 59.7
37.5 3PT FG% 47.8
77.8 FT% 68.2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Ross 20 5 3 8/14 1/2 3/3 3 35 2 0 8 2 3
E. Cooper Jr. 16 2 0 5/11 4/9 2/2 3 31 1 0 1 0 2
J. Smith 14 9 0 6/17 1/4 1/2 3 35 2 1 2 2 7
Ke. Edwards 7 2 0 3/11 1/3 0/1 3 29 0 1 3 1 1
V. Ohia Obioha 4 2 2 2/3 0/0 0/0 4 21 2 0 1 2 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Ross 20 5 3 8/14 1/2 3/3 3 35 2 0 8 2 3
E. Cooper Jr. 16 2 0 5/11 4/9 2/2 3 31 1 0 1 0 2
J. Smith 14 9 0 6/17 1/4 1/2 3 35 2 1 2 2 7
Ke. Edwards 7 2 0 3/11 1/3 0/1 3 29 0 1 3 1 1
V. Ohia Obioha 4 2 2 2/3 0/0 0/0 4 21 2 0 1 2 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Dunn 8 2 2 3/6 1/4 1/1 1 25 0 0 1 0 2
D. Polk Jr. 5 1 2 2/3 1/2 0/0 0 18 1 0 0 0 1
M. Wexler - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Yoon - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Stormo 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 6 0 0 0 0 1
Ka. Edwards - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Cage - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Yee-Stephens - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Mailliard - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Ball - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Perrot - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 74 24 9 29/65 9/24 7/9 17 200 8 2 16 7 17
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Z. Norvell Jr. 18 3 3 8/10 2/4 0/0 2 24 2 0 2 1 2
R. Hachimura 16 5 2 6/11 1/1 3/5 1 28 1 2 2 0 5
B. Clarke 15 7 5 6/7 0/0 3/5 2 22 1 2 2 3 4
J. Perkins 11 2 6 3/8 2/5 3/3 3 26 1 0 3 1 1
C. Kispert 11 5 1 4/9 2/7 1/1 1 25 1 1 1 1 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Z. Norvell Jr. 18 3 3 8/10 2/4 0/0 2 24 2 0 2 1 2
R. Hachimura 16 5 2 6/11 1/1 3/5 1 28 1 2 2 0 5
B. Clarke 15 7 5 6/7 0/0 3/5 2 22 1 2 2 3 4
J. Perkins 11 2 6 3/8 2/5 3/3 3 26 1 0 3 1 1
C. Kispert 11 5 1 4/9 2/7 1/1 1 25 1 1 1 1 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
F. Petrusev 10 2 1 4/6 0/0 2/2 1 10 0 0 0 2 0
K. Tillie 9 6 1 3/4 3/3 0/0 1 15 1 0 1 0 6
J. Jones 8 2 0 3/4 1/2 1/2 0 15 0 0 0 0 2
G. Crandall 2 2 6 0/3 0/1 2/2 2 27 4 0 2 0 2
J. Beach - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Ayayi 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/2 0 6 0 0 0 0 2
G. Foster Jr. 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
M. Lang - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Martin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Pennington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 100 36 26 37/62 11/23 15/22 13 200 11 5 13 8 28