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Gonzaga Basketball

Ninth-ranked Gonzaga uses huge opening run to down Loyola Marymount 76-46

Johnathan Williams finished with his fifth double-double in as many games to help No. 9 Gonzaga rout Loyola Marymount 76-46 on Thursday in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Williams netted 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs (24-4, 14-1 West Coast Conference), which opened the game on a 17-0 run.

Freshman guard Corey Kispert scored a team-best 14 points to lead five Bulldogs in double figures, including Williams, Killian Tillie (12), Silas Melson (10) and Rui Hachimura (10).

Gonzaga shot 51 percent from the field, despite going just 7 of 24 from 3-point range. The Bulldogs also finished with 12 steals, six blocks and forced 18 LMU turnovers.

The Bulldogs also outrebounded the Lions 38-26 and allowed LMU just seven offensive boards. The Lions (8-18, 3-12) entered the game leading the WCC in offensive rebounds per game.

Next up for GU is senior night on Saturday against last-place Pepperdine. Tip is set for 5 p.m. on KAYU TV (Fox 28).

Second half

Final – Gonzaga 76, LMU 46: Five GU players finish in double figures, as Hachimura and Melson join Kispert, Williams and Tillie.

Bulldogs got out to a great start and never looked back.

Nice game from LMU’s Eli Scott, who finished with a team-high 16 points. The Lions were shorthanded tonight and it showed in depth.

3:49 – Gonzaga 72, LMU 40: Bulldogs keeping a comfortable lead in this one.

Tillie joins Williams at 12 points for GU, while Kispert is now up to a team-best 14.

Bulldogs have dominated in every aspect of this one, including outrebounding LMU 35-22. The Lions came into the game as the best offensive rebounding team in the WCC – they have seven so far.

7:38 – Gonzaga 67, LMU 39: Corey Kispert quietly, and efficiently, gets into double figures. He’s made 4 of 5 from the floor, including a 3. He’s up to 11 points.

Tillie also showing he’s feeling alright after knocking down a straightaway triple.

Williams pulls down his 10th board of the night to get his fifth straight double-double.

12:00 – Gonzaga 54, LMU 34: Gonzaga spending a lot of time at the charity stripe this half. Hachimua has now knocked down 5 of 7 from the line and has eight points off the bench.

Williams also the first Gonzaga player into double figures, but several are right behind.

Scott still leading the way for LMU with 13 points.

Zags also have five blocks and eight steals so far, forcing 13 turnovers.

Tillie also makes his return to the court after the head injury.

15:49 – Gonzaga 44, LMU 27: Couple of missed layups for Gonzaga to open the second half, while LMU has converted on a few easy looks in the paint.

Bulldogs still keeping the lead in the 20-point range though.

GU really struggling from 3-point range so far, going just 4 of 16 from deep so far. On the flip side, GU has missed just two free throws.

Teams go into the media timeout after a frantic scramble for a loose ball, which leaves Tillie on the ground. Looks like he took an accidental knee to the back of his head.

First half

Halftime – Gonzaga 39, LMU 20: Bulldogs were 24 point favorites coming into this one – they’re more than proving why so far.

Extremely balanced offense from the Zags, who took advantage of an ice-cold start from Loyola Marymount.

Williams, Perkins, Norvell and Kispert all with seven points. Zags shooting 52 percent from the floor, while LMU shooting just over 25 percent.

Bulldogs have forced 10 turnovers and have five blocked shots.

3:37 – Gonzaga 33, LMU 11: Gonzaga really putting the pressure on defensively.

Tillie back in the game, gets a block and then picks up his third foul.

Norvell and Williams at seven points for the Zags, while Eli Scott leads LMU with seven.

7:09 – Gonzaga 29, LMU 7: Bench trio of Corey Kispert, Rui Hachimura and Jacob Larsen into the game for Gonzaga, and the offense has slowed to a crawl.

GU defense still playing at a high level. Zags are up to three blocks and LMU has seven turnovers.

Only real concern so far is the two early fouls on Tillie – he’ll likely sit the rest of the half.

Back in comes the starters and all of a sudden GU is up 21.

11:43 – Gonzaga 19, LMU 5: Lions finally on the board nearly six minutes into the contest. Snaps a 17-0 run to start the game for Gonzaga.

All five Gonzaga starters have scored, led by five points apiece from Johnathan Williams and Perkins.

Offense is starting to slow for the Bulldogs, who are now shooting 47 percent. LMU has made only two shots though.

16:25 – Gonzaga 12, LMU 0: Opening tip won by Gonzaga. It’s been all Bulldogs since then.

Gonzaga hits its first four shots, including a Josh Perkins 3-pointer and two jumpers from Silas Melson.

Loyola Marymount on the other hand has already turned the ball over three times.

Bulldogs also have a pair of early blocks against the Lions.

LMU finally calls a timeout after a wide-open Zach Norvell triple. Pretty much a perfect start from the Zags.

Also of note, LMU did not start leading scorer James Batemon (16.9 PPG) for the first time in 25 games.