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Recap and highlights: Brandon Clarke helps No. 5 Gonzaga outlast San Francisco in WCC clash

UPDATED: Sat., Jan. 12, 2019, 9:30 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO – Brandon Clarke scored 24 points and threw down a massive alley-oop as the exclamation point as fifth-ranked Gonzaga held off upset-minded San Francisco 96-83 on Saturday at Way Memorial Gymnasium.

Clarke finishes ally-oop to complete win over USF

At the under-four minute media timeout, the Bulldogs and Dons were tied at 79. GU’s Zach Norvell Jr. and Geno Crandall hit clutch 3-pointers after the break to give the Zags the separation needed to remain unbeaten in West Coast Conference play.

Gonzaga ended the game on a 17-2 run.

Rui Hachimura added 21 points for the Bulldogs (16-2, 3-0 WCC), while Josh Perkins (16), Killian Tillie (14) and Norvell (13) also scored in double figures.

Frankie Ferrari paced San Francisco (14-3, 2-1) with 21 points and four assists.

The Zags shot 52.2 percent from the floor and 45 percent from deep, while USF shot 40.6 percent overall and 32 percent from 3-point range.

The Bulldogs will return home on Thursday to take on Loyola Marymount (6 p.m., KHQ).

♦  ♦  ♦

Second half

Final – Gonzaga 96, USF 83: San Francisco coach livid for the final few minutes as the Dons felt GU was getting away with a lot of contact under the basket.

Bulldogs just make the shots they need to down the stretch to down a very talented Dons team.

1:03 – Gonzaga 89 USF 83: Monster block from Brandon Clarke, who pins the ball against the backboard and off a USF player to give the ball back to GU. After getting its six-point lead, GU has looked sharp, keeping the Dons at arm’s length.

Clarke doing it on both ends of the floor, as he leads the Zags with 21 points.

2:08 – Gonzaga 88, USF 81: Huge 3-pointers back-to-back from Zach Norvell Jr. and Geno Crandall put the Zags back on top and force a USF timeout. Huge shots from the sophomore and grad transfer.

3:50 – Gonzaga 79, USF 79: Bit of a surprise for the Zags as Killian Tillie fouls out for the second time in three games.

He finishes with 14 points on 6 of 7 shooting, six rebounds and three assists. Nice game from the big man, but the foul trouble isn’t helping him get much-needed minutes.

Tough call goes against the Zags shortly after the Tillie foul out as Brandon Clarke switches on to Frankie Ferrari who gets the big man in the air and draws a foul on a 3-point attempt. Ferrari makes all three to get up to 21 points.

Teams trade the lead a few times, but Josh Perkins is picking the right time to heat up for the Zags. He’s now at 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

7:54 – Gonzaga 72, USF 70: No breaks in the action here in the second half as the teams keep taking shots at each other. Big 3-pointer from USF’s Frankie Ferrari ties the game before a Brandon Clarke layup. Ferrari up to 16 for the Dons, while Clarke has 19 for the Zags.

Depth doesn’t seem to be much of an issue for San Francisco as its keeping pace with the Zags every step of the way.

Four players for each team in double figures and both teams are hovering around the 50-percent shooting mark.

Biggest advantage for GU is regarding foul trouble. Jimbo Lull, Matt McCarthy and Nate Renfro all have four fouls for the Dons.

11:45 – Gonzaga 60, USF 58: Tons of fight in this USF team as the Dons stay within reach of the Zags. Killian Tillie then called for a flagrant 1 after hooking the arm of USF’s Matt McCarthy on a rebound – deemed a dangerous play.

McCarthey also into double figures for the Dons with 12 points, matching Charles Minlend and Nate Renfro.

Mark Few again keeping his rotation to eight players with Tillie, Geno Crandall and Jeremy Jones.

Tillie and Rui Hachimura leading the way with 14 points for the Bulldogs, who have gotten just seven total points from Josh Perkins and Corey Kispert.

15:41 – Gonzaga 52, USF 46: Buckets by Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke out of the halftime break force San Francisco to take a quick timeout.

The Dons’ surge at the end of the first half came with Hachimura on the bench with two fouls. GU will definitely be looking to its leading scorer more this half. He’s up to 12 points.

Clarke also with the hot hand this half as he’s up to a team-high 13 points.

Zags have taken four more shots over the first four minutes of the half, hitting 7 of 11 compared to 3 of 8 for USF.

Charles Minlend the first USF player into double figures with 10 points.

First half

Halftime – Gonzaga 37, USF 37: This should be a fun second half as San Francisco fought back with Rui Hachimura on the bench with two fouls.

The good news for GU is Killian Tillie was on the floor for extended minutes. The bad news is San Francisco isn’t going down without a fight as first place in the WCC standings is on the line.

Frankie Ferrari gets the last-second floater to go to tie the game. He’s up to six points as no Dons are in double figures.

Dons' Ferrari scores on tough shot to tie game at the half

Tillie leads all scorers with 12 points and Zach Norvell Jr. has 10 for the Zags.

GU shooting 46.9 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from deep. USF matched the 3-point percentage and is shooting 45.5 percent overall.

Both teams with 20 rebounds, while the Zags have just two turnovers to USF’s three. Great first half at War Memorial Gymnasium.

3:57 – Gonzaga 33, USF 28: Slight crack in the armor for the Zags as Rui Hachimura picks up his second foul driving to the bucket.

This is a good chance to get important minutes for Killian Tillie, who is playing by far his best game since returning from injury.

Zach Norvell Jr. the second GU player into double figures after hitting a pair of free throws. The sophomore guard from Chicago has 10 points.

Zags cooling off from the floor, going the last 2:53 without a field goal as San Francisco stays within reach.

Charles Minlend pacing the Dons with eight points.

7:32 – Gonzaga 29, USF 21: A pair of super strong rebounds and buckets from Killian Tillie – a nice sign to see for GU coach Mark Few. The junior forward, now in his third game back from injury, has 10 points and is the first player into double figures.

Zags cranking up the pressure on defense as Rui Hachimura gets beat on the baseline before recovering for a massive block on USF’s Charles Minlend.

On the other end of the court, Zach Norvell Jr. drills a pair of corner triples to get to eight points.

Zags shooting 54.5 percent overall and 50 percent from deep, while USF is shooting 42.1 percent overall.

11:50 – Gonzaga 16, USF 13: First 3-pointer of the night goes to GU’s Corey Kispert. That starts a showdown from deep as Nate Renfro connects for USF, followed by Killian Tillie on a wide-open look.

Brandon Clarke off to a nice start on the offensive end with four points, two of which came on a nifty spin and finish.

Jimbo Lull up to six rebounds for the Dons.

There’s a different look in the eyes of the Gonzaga players tonight. This game will likely be GU’s toughest test since the Tennessee/North Carolina swing to start December.

Hachimura swats layup attempt

16:00 – USF 8, Gonzaga 4: Thanks to the magic of live stats, we can keep tabs on the opening few minutes of the Zags/Dons clash as ESPN2 sticks with UConn/Cincinnati game which went into overtime.

Good start for the Gonzaga bigs as Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke score early buckets. San Francisco’s Jimbo Lull also off to a nice start as the 7-footer has six points. Lull also has three offensive boards.

Dons playing with some speed and aggression early on against the fifth-ranked Zags. As is the case with most WCC teams against GU, depth down the stretch will be the key.

Gonzaga announces starting 5

Game preview

Gonzaga roster

No.

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Class

11

Joel Ayayi

G

6-5

Fr

2

Jack Beach

G

6-3

So

15

Brandon Clarke

G

6-8

Jr

0

Geno Crandall

G

6-3

Sr

4

Greg Foster Jr.

G

6-5

Fr

21

Rui Hachimura

F

6-8

Jr

22

Jeremy Jones

F

6-7

Sr

24

Corey Kispert

F

6-6

So

10

Matthew Lang

G

6-3

Fr

5

Alex Martin

G

6-5

Jr

23

Zach Norvell Jr.

G

6-5

So

20

Paul Pennington

G

5-10

Fr

13

Josh Perkins

G

6-3

Sr

3

Filip Petrusev

F

6-11

Fr

33

Killian Tillie

F

6-10

Jr

LEADERS

Player

G

MPG

FG%

FT%

3P%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

PPG

Rui Hachimura

17

29.5

.597

.754

.450

6.0

1.7

1.0

0.6

20.8

Brandon Clarke

17

27.5

.693

.633

.333

8.1

1.6

1.6

3.4

16.6

Zach Norvell Jr.

17

30.0

.431

.839

.366

4.5

3.5

1.6

0.0

15.9

Josh Perkins

17

30.5

.456

.903

.400

3.2

6.9

1.5

0.1

10.6

Corey Kispert

17

28.6

.423

.941

.372

4.0

1.4

0.7

0.4

8.9

Filip Petrusev

17

14.4

.556

.818

.273

3.7

0.3

0.2

0.8

8.3

Geno Crandall

8

18.0

.342

.619

.133

1.9

2.1

1.1

0.1

5.1

Killian Tillie

2

14.0

.364

.000

.200

3.5

0.0

1.5

1.0

4.5

Jeremy Jones

17

16.1

.750

.733

.600

4.2

1.3

0.4

0.1

4.1

Joel Ayayi

11

7.4

.636

.333

.375

2.1

0.5

0.4

0.0

2.9

Jack Beach

10

3.4

.571

-

.571

0.3

0.2

0.0

0.0

1.2

Greg Foster Jr.

16

5.9

.316

.500

.182

0.5

0.6

0.1

0.1

1.1

Matthew Lang

6

2.7

.667

-

.500

0.2

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.8

Alex Martin

2

1.0

.000

-

.000

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

San Francisco roster

No.

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Class

12

Trevante Anderson

G

6-2

Fr

21

Dylan Belquist

F

6-6

Fr

1

Jamaree Bouyea

G

6-2

So

45

Mladen Djordjevic

G

6-3

Sr

2

Frankie Ferrari

G

6-0

Sr

34

Taavi Jurkatamm

F

6-9

So

31

Nathan Krill

F

6-7

Sr

5

Jimbo Lull

C

7-0

Jr

10

Matt McCarthy

F

6-9

Sr

14

Charles Minlend

G

6-4

So

3

Michael Orlich

G

5-11

Sr

11

Remu Raitanen

F

6-9

Jr

25

Jordan Ratinho

G

6-5

Jr

15

Nate Renfro

F

6-8

Sr

22

Dzmitry Ryuny

F

6-9

Fr

0

Khalil Shabazz

G

6-1

So

LEADERS

Player

G

MPG

FG%

FT%

3P%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

PPG

Charles Minlend

16

29.6

.430

.718

.247

5.4

1.4

1.0

0.4

15.4

Frankie Ferrari

16

31.8

.404

.855

.341

3.2

5.7

1.6

0.0

13.3

Matt McCarthy

16

18.4

.663

.588

.500

6.9

0.8

0.6

0.4

10.1

Jordan Ratinho

16

27.8

.457

.462

.411

3.0

1.0

0.8

0.2

9.9

Jimbo Lull

16

18.6

.616

.677

-

6.1

0.7

0.3

0.3

8.9

Nate Renfro

16

25.6

.427

.510

.217

5.9

1.5

1.3

1.3

6.6

Jamaree Bouyea

16

24.4

.432

.571

.286

3.4

1.4

0.8

0.6

6.0

Remu Raitanen

15

11.3

.528

.846

.458

2.2

0.9

0.3

0.0

4.0

Dzmitry Ryuny

10

5.7

.348

1.000

.364

0.8

0.2

0.2

0.3

2.8

Trevante Anderson

10

7.5

.389

.250

.455

0.3

1.1

0.1

0.0

2.0

Nathan Krill

1

3.0

.500

-

.000

1.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

2.0

Taavi Jurkatamm

13

4.8

.667

.000

-

1.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.6

Michael Orlich

4

3.8

.250

.000

.000

0.8

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.5

Dylan Belquist

1

3.0

.000

-

.000

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

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