Gonzaga plays Pepperdine at home in the McCarthey Athletic Center, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016.
Pepperdine did something only two other Gonzaga opponents have done this season. The Waves made 51.6 percent of their first-half shots, joining Bryant and Iowa State as the only Zag opponents to hit at least 50 percent in a half. There was no repeat performance in the second half.
If you were sitting high up in section 113, you might have been wondering why the Waves, 4-8 coming in, were hanging with the undefeated Zags in the first half. After all, 20 minutes in, Gonzaga led by just seven. At home, you got that questioned answered. And from a reputable source: assistant coach Tommy Lloyd.
But even with 6,000 fans cheering on Gonzaga to a 92-62 victory over the Waves, there was something glaringly absent at the Kennel, of which the fans and the players took notice quickly. GU’s athletic director Mike Roth accredited it to one thing – no students.
The 7th-ranked Zags ran hot and cold, sometimes on the same play, but they shut down Pepperdine in the second half for a 92-62 victory in the WCC opener for both teams at the McCarthey Athletic Center.