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Gonzaga Basketball

No. 14 Gonzaga makes enough clutch plays down the stretch to hold off BYU 68-60

UPDATED: Sun., Feb. 4, 2018, 12:20 a.m.

Rui Hachimura netted a team-high 15 points off the bench as No. 14 Gonzaga held off BYU 68-60 on Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The victory breaks a three-game losing streak for the Bulldogs against BYU in the Kennel.

Gonzaga (21-4, 11-1 West Coast Conference) led by 10 at the half, before BYU stormed back to tie the game on several occasions in the second half.

TJ Haws scored a game-high 22 points for the Cougars (18-7, 7-5), but was turned over twice in the final minutes by Gonzaga guard Silas Melson.

Josh Perkins and Johnathan Williams also finished in double figures for the Zags, scoring 14 and 13 respectively.

The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 43.5 percent from the floor and 27.3 percent from deep, while BYU shot 44.6 percent overall and just 15 percent from 3-point range.

Gonzaga narrowly outrebounded the Cougars (35-34), but only committed six turnovers to BYU’s 12.

Gonzaga finishes its home stand 3-0, and will now travel to Pacific at 7 p.m. on Thursday (SWX), before the second showdown with Saint Mary’s next Saturday.

Second half

Final – Gonzaga 68, BYU 60: What a defensive performance down the stretch for the Bulldogs. Offense wasn’t perfect, but the defense got the job done. Huge game from Hachimura on both ends of the court, especially when it mattered.

0:12 – Gonzaga 68, BYU 60: Another huge steal forced by Melson on Haws. Perkins gets fouled and Gonzaga shoudl wrap this one up.

0:29 – Gonzaga 66, BYU 60: BYU goes back to the well with Haws, but Melson makes a clutch defensive play to force a steal.

Cougars foul Hachimura, who makes both from the line. He’s up to 15.

1:02 – Gonzaga 64, BYU 60: Strong take by Williams puts Gonzaga up by four. The senior follows that up with an excellent defensive effort on the other end of the court to deny Childs. Zags with the lead and the ball.

2:00 – Gonzaga 62, BYU 60: Hawks is absolutely torching Gonzaga right now, as he’s up to 22 points.

Huge triple though from Norvell Jr. as the freshman finally gets something going for the Zags.

4:02 – Gonzaga 57, BYU 55: 8-2 run from BYU, six of which come from Haws as the Cougars have once again cut the lead to one possession.

Haws now has a game-high 18 points, including a trio of 3-point makes. BYU also doing a nice job taking advantage of second-chance opportunities.

5:59 – Gonzaga 55, BYU 47: Nice second half from Hachimura, who is up to 11 points and making a lot of the momentum-shifting hustle plays right now for Gonzaga.

Zach Norvell Jr. also provides a nice spark moment for the Zags with a weaving layup after an offensive rebound.

Gonzaga looking much more comfortable on offense in the last three minutes.

7:56 – Gonzaga 51, BYU 47: Hachimura up to nine points after a sweet 16-foot jumper, as Gonzaga is holding on by the slimmest of margins.

Bulldogs doing a better job on Childs, but Worthington is having quite the game at 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

BYU has also closed the rebounding gap, with the Zags now leading in that department 28-27.

11:59 – Gonzaga 48, BYU 43: The Cougars are shooting nearly 60 percent in the second half, compared to roughly 25 percent from Gonzaga.

Three BYU players now in double figures with Childs (14) joined by Luke Worthington (13) and Haws (10).

BYU ties the game up, but a Hachimura bucket followed by a Perkins 3 puts the Zags back on top. Williams leads GU with 11 points, while Perkins has 10.

15:39 – Gonzaga 41, BYU 37: Silas Melson gets on the score sheet with a deep 3-pointer as Gonzaga hasn’t quite gotten it going on offense out of the half.

On the other end, Childs gets into double figures for the 24th time this season for BYU. he’s up to 14 points.

BYU right back into this between a 7-0 run and some very suspect shot selections from the Bulldogs.

Also troublesome for Gonzaga is the third foul called on Perkins.

First half

Halftime – Gonzaga 36, BYU 26: Fantastic run at the end of the half from the Zags, highlighted by a Josh Perkins steal and floater, puts the Bulldogs ahead by double digits.

Williams and Tillit with nine points apiece, while Perkins has seven.

GU shooting an even 50 percent from the floor and 23 percent from deep, while BYU is shooting 43 percent overall and just 13 percent from deep.

2:50 – Gonzaga 30, BYU 24: Gonzaga coach Mark Few having to go a little deeper in his bench than normal due to the quick pace of this one as Jeremy Jones see the court early on.

Scoring starting to slow for both teams, as Gonzaga is doing a fantastic job holding BYU to lower-percentage shots.

Two big blocks from Hachimura and Johnathan Williams also helping set the defensive tone for the Zags.

Gonzaga doing a nice job on the glass so far, outrebounding BYU 17-12, while committing only two turnovers.

Back-to-back buckets from Williams puts the senior forward at nine points, matching Tillie.

7:52 – Gonzaga 24, BYU 17: Five quick points from Corey Kispert and a layup from Rui Hachimura gives Gonzaga a nice boost off the bench as the Bulldogs rattle off a 8-0 run to take back the lead.

Both teams playing very clean so far with the first foul of the game coming nearly 11 minutes in.

10:28 – BYU 17, Gonzaga 16: Yoeli Childs puts BYU ahead with the only bucket before a quick media timeout turnaround.

12:14 – Gonzaga 16, BYU 15: Blistering pace to start this one as BYU gets a trio of simple looks right under the basket.

Bulldogs respond with a few looks from five feet and in of their own, setting up a Killian Tillie triple in the corner. Inside-out game will be key for the Zags tonight against this big BYU squad.

Another 3-pointer from Perkins has the Zags running efficiently on offense, but the interior buckets are still coming too easy for the Cougars.

Tillie up to nine points, while TJ Haws has five for BYU.

Starters have to be exhausted after more than seven straight minutes without a whistle.