The Gonzaga Bulldogs try to keep things simple – find the weak spot and capitalize on it.
“Every team has its weakness and we just try to figure out what it is,” Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins said.
Incarnate Word’s weakness was easy to spot – it lacked height and power inside. So the Zags played to their own advantages and started the night with a few quick looks inside and big layups at the rim.
Even Perkins, a 6-foot-3 shooter who finds comfort in the perimeter, broke inside to get his first make off a short flip, giving the Bulldogs a quick 12-point lead in the first half of their lopsided 103-68 win on Wednesday.
But the small shots didn’t last long.
“We played inside-out, and then the 3s just kept going,” Perkins said.
One Zag after another started dropping 3-pointers. Perkins followed early in the first quarter with a shot from the corner with just 1 second left.
About six minutes later, Perkins tested his range again, this time from 27 feet away at the top of the arc. He hit only net, sending the Zags to comfortable 35-14 lead.
“It’s just going in right now. I’ll take it,” Perkins said.
Perkins led Gonzaga’s 12 3-pointer showing with a team-high four 3s. He finished the night with a 6-for-6 performance from the field and 16 points before he took to the bench early in the second half.
His four 3-pointers extended his season total to 29 makes, which leads the West Coast Conference.
Perkins came in third in the WCC and was 35th in the country for 3-point percentage at 53.2 percent, while attempting 57 from beyond the arc.
Portland’s Franklin Porter shares the top spot with Isaiah Wright of San Diego for 3-point percentage at 66.7, but Porter has made 15 attempts while Wright has attempted only 12.
Ahead of Wednesday’s showing, Perkins was ranked 10th in the nation with his 25 3-pointers. His 4.17 3-pointers per game following Gonzaga’s overtime win over Texas on Sunday ranked him eighth in the NCAA.
After Wednesday’s win, Perkins is now averaging 4.14 3-pointers, putting him on track of nearly doubling his 3-pointers from last year (68) by the end of the regular season.
But Perkins said he’s not looking for a season high. He’s looking for good looks and they just happen to be from far, far away.
“I just play and as long as it feels good and these guys keep finding me open I’ll keep shooting it,” Perkins said.
His dominance from distance has taken its toll on Gonzaga’s opponents this year, particularly before last week’s tournament in Portland when the Zags participated in the PK80 Invitational.
Perkins has scored at least twice from distance in every game of the regular season. He started the season with six 3s for Gonzaga against Texas Southern.
He opened the regular season shooting 6 of 10 from 3-point range, and then tied that season-high a couple of weeks later in Gonzaga’s showing against Ohio State at the PK80 Invitational last week, hitting six 3s and finishing 6 for 9 from beyond the arc.
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