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Gonzaga claims at least tie of ninth straight title

Taelor Karr's career-matching 27 points Thursday night sparked Gonzaga to its 11th consecutive win, 70-55 at Santa Clara. The Bulldogs clinched at least a share of their ninth straight West Coast Conference title. Only BYU has a chance to tie Gonzaga. Read story

Gonzaga defeated BYU 74-59 on Jan. 17, building a 27-point lead and steadying the ship after the Cougars closed within nine points in the second half.

Even if the Bulldogs lose Saturday at Provo, Utah, they can win the title at home on Thursday against Portland (10-17, 5-9). Gonzaga defeated Portland by 31 points at Portland five weeks ago.

Santa Clara never led Thursday, but the Broncos made it interesting a couple of times in the second half. Santa Clara opened the half with a 5-0 run to cut Gonzaga's lead to 39-32. The Broncos trailed 46-40 with 13:38 left when Jazmine Redmon started the Zags' 16-0 run with a layup. Karr scored eight points and Haiden Palmer six during the run.

Shelby Cheslek led Gonzaga with seven rebounds.

The Bulldogs' last winning streak of more than 10 games was two seasons ago, when they won 21 straight.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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