MALIBU, Calif. – Killian Tillie scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds as No. 19 Gonzaga routed Pepperdine 89-59 to remain perfect in West Coast Conference play on Saturday at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Tillie was nearly perfect for the Bulldogs (13-3, 3-0 WCC), going 9 for 10 from the field. The sophomore also hit all three of his 3-point attempts.
Struggling to get good looks early on from their trio of guards, the Zags went big. Gonzaga forwards scored 67 of the team’s points.
Gonzaga shot 54.7 percent as a team from the field and 34.6 percent from deep. The Bulldogs also forced 17 Pepperdine turnovers, along with outrebounding the Waves (3-12, 0-3) 39-29.
Three other Gonzaga players joined Tillie in double figures (Johnathan Williams 13, Rui Hachimura 12 and Zach Norvell Jr. 10), while Corey Kispert and Jacob Larsen added nine points each off the bench.
Eric Cooper Jr. led Pepperdine with 19 points.
Gonzaga will complete its southern California swing Saturday with a visit to Loyola Marymount (7 p.m., ESPNU).
Final – Gonzaga 89, Pepperdine 59: Business trip for the Zags on the first leg of the SoCal swing. Tillie has a monster game to lead the Bulldogs, who dominated in every facet of the contest.
Next up is a 7 p.m. Saturday meeting with Loyola Marymount, which lost to Santa Clara earlier today.
3:05 – Gonzaga 77, Pepperdine 54: Tremendous job on defense and on the glass for the Bulldogs tonight. They’ve forced 13 Pepperdine turnovers and are outboarding the Waves 38-26. Tillie has pulled down eight rebounds, while Kispert quietly has eight.
After a few weeks of up-and-down showings, Gonzaga has simply dominated – as expected – so far in West Coast Conference play.
Norvell has also reached double figures for the Bulldogs with 10 points. Gonzaga moves to an all-reserve lineup for the rest of this one.
7:58 – Gonzaga 74, Pepperdine 43: Zags getting in a groove on offense and have turned this one into a rout. Pepperdine still trying to press on defense, which the Zags are breaking rather easy.
Tillie up to 22 points to go along with eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Perkins also finding his range with his second triple of the half. He’s up to eight points as well to match a gaggle of Zags. The make also puts Gonzaga up to 38 percent shooting from deep and 56 percent overall.
11:58 – Gonzaga 62, Pepperdine 38: It must be the second half, because Norvell has found his stroke. The Zags guard has hit a pair of 3-pointers and is up to eight points.
Larsen still having a solid showing in the paint for the Bulldogs, staying a perfect 3 for 3 from the floor for six points. Kispert also nearing double figures after a nifty floater in traffic drops. He’s at eight points.
Gonzaga now up to 52.2 percent shooting in the game. Bulldogs have also turned Pepperdine’s 11 turnovers into 15 points.
Cooper up to 17 points for the Waves.
15:58 – Gonzaga 50, Pepperdine 28: Hot start from Tillie as the sophomore nets four quick points to open the half. He’s up to 16 points on 6-7 shooting to lead all scorers.
Pepperdine moving the ball much better in this half, but the hole is likely too deep to dig out of.
Waves doing a good job of getting out on Gonzaga’s 3-point shooters, but leaving huge gaps for the big men in the middle. Williams joins Tillie in double figures with 10 points, while Hachimura has yet to see the court this half.
Halftime – Gonzaga 41, Pepperdine 23: Pepperdine hits a few more shots at the end of the half, but Gonzaga still holding strong and matching make for make.
Tillie leads all players with 12 points on 4-5 shooting and a pair of 3-pointers. Hachimura also with four makes from the floor and nine points. Both players also with five rebounds.
Kispert also up to six points for the Zags, while Williams has eight.
Eric Cooper Jr. leads the Waves with seven points.
Gonzaga shot 48.5 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, compared to 36.7 percent for the Waves. Gonzaga also turned the ball over six times to Pepperdine’s seven. Zags also outrebounded the Waves 23-15 and had 11 assists on their 16 makes.
2:33 – Gonzaga 33, Pepperdine 19: Back to back buckets for the Waves are followed by a nice drive and finish for Perkins – the first Zags guard to get on the score sheet.
Gonzaga shooting 45 percent from the field and 27 from 3-point range so far, while Pepperdine is hitting at a 36 percent clip overall and 13 percent from deep. Zags still holding the rebounding advantage (14-11), along with the bench-points advantage (13-2).
Tillie the first player into double figures with 10 points, while Hachimura is still at nine and Williams at eight.
7:47 – Gonzaga 22, Pepperdine 9: Defensive intensity still there for the Zags as Rui Hachimura swats a Pepperdine shot back out to the 3-point line. Waves now up to six turnovers.
Zags guards still struggling in this one as Josh Perkins, Corey Kispert, Norvell and Melson have combined to go 0-9 with zero points. Melson and Norvell each do have a steal as the Bulldogs have three as a team.
Hachimura also getting it done on offense for Gonzaga. The sophomore is up to a game-high nine points and five boards.
Gonzaga has held Pepperdine scoreless since the 14:08 mark.
11:29 – Gonzaga 15, Pepperdine 9: Quick call to the bench for Gonzaga coach Mark Few as Johnathan Williams sits for the more physical Jacob Larsen, who is up to four points.
Killian Tillie also hits the first two 3-pointers of the evening for the Zags, giving them their first lead of the game. He’s up to seven points as the Bulldogs have started to find their range.
All 15 Gonzaga points have come from forwards so far. Guards are a combined 0-7 from the field and 0-4 from deep. Bulldogs also own a 10-8 rebounding advantage.
15:08 – Pepperdine 7, Gonzaga 5: Gonzaga cranks up the defensive pressure to 11 right out of the gate, forcing four quick Pepperdine turnovers.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the shots just aren’t falling on their offensive side. Gonzaga has hit just 2 of 7 field goals in the opening minutes.
Gonzaga’s Silas Melson with a rather lackadaisical start, called for a travel and then turning the ball after not looking for an in-bounds pass and dribbling the ball off his foot. He has accounted for both Zags turnovers.
Zach Norvell Jr., a known second-half scorer, is 0-2 from the field to start this one.
Gonzaga is also looking for its 34th straight win against the Waves, and 16th in a row at Firestone Fieldhouse.
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No. 19 Bulldogs vs. Waves
At Firestone Fieldhouse, Malibu, California
➤ Thursday, Jan. 4: Gonzaga Bulldogs at Pepperdine Waves, 8 p.m. PT TV: ESPNu
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