Basketball

Gonzaga routs Pacific for 6th straight

AP

Fifth-ranked Gonzaga was held to its lowest point total of the season and still beat Pacific by 31 points.

Josh Perkins had 14 points and six assists, and Gonzaga beat Pacific 67-36 on Thursday night, the sixth straight win for the Bulldogs.

Pacific used a slow-down offense most of the game against the high-flying Bulldogs, who average more than 93 points per game.

“We didn’t foul them much,” Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke added. “That took them out of their offense. . . . When that happens it’s really tough to beat us because we’ve got such a potent offense.”

Zach Norvell Jr. scored 11 points for Gonzaga (15-2, 2-0 West Coast Conference), which has beaten the Tigers 13 consecutive times. Rui Hachimura and Clarke each scored 10 points, and Clarke had five blocks.

Hachimura’s playing time in the contest was limited by foul trouble. He finished with four fouls.

Roberto Gallinat scored nine points to lead Pacific (10-8, 0-3).

Pacific was held to its lowest point total of the season after shooting just 26.7 percent and committing 22 turnovers.

The Tigers got to the free-throw line only 13 times, making eight.

“We had to be smart not to foul them when they drove,” Clarke said. “They struggled to find ways to score.”

Pacific coach Damon Stoudamire did not immediately talk with reporters after the game.

For a time, Pacific’s slow-down offense worked. The teams were tied 10-10 midway through the first.

Then Gonzaga broke the game open.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Norvell and Perkins highlighted a 24-5 run that put Gonzaga ahead 34-15 at halftime. Pacific shot just 27.8 percent in the first, while Gonzaga shot 56.5.

“We didn’t get frustrated,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.

Gonzaga slowly added to its lead in the second half. Jeremy Jones’ 3-pointer put Gonzaga up 50-26 midway through the second. The Zags went on an 11-1 run to push their lead to 61-27.

Few deployed a pressure defense at times, trying to speed up the game.

“It shrinks the clock down,” Few said. “We generated some turnovers out of it.”

Gonzaga’s previous season low in points was 71 against No. 3 Tennessee.

The Bulldogs have gone 85-6 against their West Coast Conference rivals since 2014, losing games only to Saint Mary’s and BYU.

The Zags lead the nation in field-goal shooting at 53.2 percent, and are second in scoring at 93.6 points per game.

Gonzaga won its previous five games by a margin of 43.6 points.