Basketball

Fourth-ranked Gonzaga pummels BYU for 28th straight conference road victory

Junior star Rui Hachimura scores 20 points in rout

AP

Brandon Clarke scored 23 points and Rui Hachimura added 20 to lead No. 4 Gonzaga to a 93-63 win over BYU on Thursday night.

Clarke and Hachimura each grabbed nine rebounds as well. Corey Kispert had 16 points and Josh Perkins dished out 10 assists for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs shot 37 of 63 (59 percent) from the field — including 10 of 20 from 3-point range.

Gonzaga (20-2, 7-0 West Coast Conference) has won 28 straight road games against WCC opponents and 21 consecutive league games overall. Both streaks lead the nation.

T.J. Haws scored 16 points and Zac Seljaas had 12 to lead the Cougars. Yoeli Childs added 12 points and seven rebounds.

BYU (13-10, 5-3) lost for the second time in three games after shooting just 37 percent from the field.

Gonzaga took control on both ends of the floor almost from the opening tip. The Bulldogs used a 12-1 run fueled by back-to-back 3-pointers from Zach Norvell Jr. and Kispert and a pair of dunks from Hachimura, a Toyama Prefecture native, to sprint out to a 19-6 lead.

BYU struggled to generate offense early. The Cougars missed 10 of their first 13 shots before making three straight to chip away at the deficit. Jahshire Hardnett capped the string of baskets with a 3 that cut Gonzaga’s lead to 23-18.

That’s as close as BYU got. The Cougars quickly went ice cold again. BYU missed nine shots in a row and finished the first half 9 of 33 (27 percent) from the field.

“When we share the ball like that, play aggressive and don’t turn the ball over, we’re going to get any shot we want against any defense,” Kispert told The Spokesman-Review, a newspaper that regularly reports on the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga took advantage by stringing together an 18-2 run. Hachimura bookended a spurt that gave the Bulldogs a 41-20 lead with a layup and a dunk.

BYU closed to 54-40 with 13:07 remaining on consecutive baskets from Nick Emery and Seljaas. Kim Tillie drained a 3 and Hachimura, a junior, followed with back-to-back layups to stop the Cougars from getting closer. Gonzaga eventually built an 87-57 lead with 4:08 left after Kispert, Clarke and Geno Crandall combined to help the Bulldogs make five straight baskets over a three-minute stretch.

Up next: Gonzaga plays host to San Diego on Saturday.