No. 1 Gonzaga races past San Diego 94-50
Zags extend national-best road win streak to 13
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (AP) — Joel Ayayi scored 20 points, Filip Petrusev had 17 and top-ranked Gonzaga sprinted past San Diego 94-50 Thursday night after playing two close West Coast Conference games.
Admon Gilder scored 12 points and Corey Kispert had 10 for Gonzaga (17-1, 3-0), which won its ninth straight game since its only loss, to Michigan on Nov. 29 in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Killian Tillie had 10 rebounds.
The Zags continued to dominate the series against the Toreros (7-11, 0-3), beating them for the 11th straight time, the 22nd time in the last 23 games and for the 44th time in 47.
Braun Hartfield, Yauhen Massalski and Jared Rodriguez scored nine apiece for USD.
The Bulldogs had to come back in both of their previous WCC games, an 85-72 win at Portland in which they trailed at halftime, followed by a 75-70 home win against Pepperdine.
The Bulldogs simply overwhelmed the smaller, slower Toreros in making slam dunks, 3-pointers and fast-break layups to take a 53-16 halftime lead.
Petrusev had 15 points in the first half, including a hook shot and a three-point play for the Bulldogs’ first points. They grabbed leads of 10-3 and 18-5, both of which forced USD coach Sam Scholl to call timeouts. Gonzaga continued to pour it on, taking leads of 27-6 and 40-14.
Even the Zags’ misses were spectacular. Kispert fed Tillie as he swooped in for a dunk, but the ball bounced off the rim.
The next time down the floor, Kispert hit a 3-pointer. Later in the half, Ryan Woolridge fed Anton Watson and his dunk attempt bounced off the rim.
A few minutes later, Petrusev’s bank shot gave the Zags the 40-14 lead.
Woolridge made a pretty stutter-step layup and Kispert closed the half with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
The highlights continued in the second half. Petrusev had a monster slam dunk a minute in and then drained a 3-pointer from in front of the Zags’ bench for a 63-25 lead with 13:23 to go. He smiled, turned and pointed to the bench, and his teammates pointed back.
The Bulldogs came in with six players averaging double figures in scoring and leading the nation in offense at 88.3 points per game.
Gonzaga: The Zags have a remarkable number of streaks going. They won their 30th straight regular-season conference game and their 34th straight conference road game. They were coming off their 32nd consecutive home win.
USD: The Toreros fell to 0-3 vs. No. 1-ranked teams. They lost 96-38 at home to Gonzaga on Feb. 23, 2017, and 101-71 to Kansas on Dec. 9, 1995, at the San Diego Sports Arena.
Gonzaga heads up the freeway to play at Loyola Marymount on Saturday afternoon.
USD hosts Pepperdine on Saturday night.