Gonzaga defeats Pepperdine
Bouldin scores career-high 32 points
Matt Bouldin scored a career-high 32 points and No. 15 Gonzaga beat Pepperdine 91-84 Thursday night to take sole possession of first place in the West Coast Conference.
Elias Harris added 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Steven Gray had 20 points, as Gonzaga (15-3, 4-0 WCC) won its seventh straight game.
Keion Bell, who had three points in the first, led Pepperdine (7-13, 3-1) with a career-high 37 points, keeping the game close. Lorne Jackson added 17 points and the Waves scored 55 points in the second half.
Pepperdine opened the WCC season with three wins, and these were the last two unbeaten teams in league play. The Waves have lost 17 straight to the Bulldogs, last winning in 2002.
Pepperdine made only two field goals in the first 7:30 and trailed 17-6. The Waves started finding the basket, but still trailed 41-29 at halftime after shooting just 37 percent.
Bell scored 14 of Pepperdine’s first 16 points of the second half to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 51-45. But Bouldin, Gray and Harris quickly drove Gonzaga to a 64-49 lead with 12 minutes left.
The Waves clawed back and Bell hit a basket and two free throws to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 75-68 with 4:50 left.
Harris and Bouldin kept the Zags ahead with inside baskets, and the Waves were forced to foul when they trailed by six with a minute left.
Bouldin made 10 of 16 and the Bulldogs shot 53 percent. Harris, a freshman, is averaging a double-double over the past seven games.
Gonzaga is 68-4 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004. They have also won 20 straight games against WCC rivals.
Before the game, the Bulldogs had a moment of silence for former basketball coach and athletic director Dan Fitzgerald, who died this week.
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