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Gonzaga thumps Pacific, earns another WCC title

The No. 1 ranking, the possibility of an undefeated regular season and a probable No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Top-ranked Gonzaga has received widespread attention on all of the above topics, so much so that the WCC regular-season title has been pushed to the background.

The Zags routed Pacific 82-61 on Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center and picked up some hardware along the way.

Gonzaga (28-0, 16-0 WCC) clinched at least a share of its 16th conference championship in 17 years. The Zags have already earned the No. 1 seed in the WCC tournament with their regular-season sweep over Saint Mary’s.

“It’s one of those things that I take a lot of pride in, the staff does, and you try to get the players to, and I think they do,” coach Mark Few said of the WCC title. “Over the years, we’ve really done a nice job of getting our players to understand how important that is.

“It’s just tough sometimes educating everybody else because it’s always about Final Fours and NCAA championships and things like that.”

Gonzaga is two wins away from an unblemished regular season, the first in Division I since Kentucky in 2015. The Zags visit San Diego on Thursday before entertaining BYU on Saturday.

“It’s crazy, it went by so fast,” said junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss, who led five players in double figures with 18 points.

“You look and we only have one home game left. We’re definitely looking forward to next week and finishing this out strong.”

The Zags were sluggish early for the second straight game, missing their first six shots. They heated up quickly, connecting on five straight shots in an 11-0 spurt that wiped out an early five-point deficit.

GU led 43-30 at half and the margin reached 20 on a pair of Williams-Goss free throws with 16:21 left. The Zags led by as many as 29.


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