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Recap and highlights: Killian Tillie leads the way as Gonzaga thumps BYU 74-54 for WCC Tournament title

UPDATED: Tue., March 6, 2018, 11:55 p.m.

LAS VEGAS – Killian Tillie continued his scoring clinic as the sophomore forward scored a team-high 22 points to lead top-seeded Gonzaga to a 74-54 rout of BYU in the WCC Tournament championship game on Tuesday at the Orleans Arena.

The title is Gonzaga’s sixth in a row and 17th overall.

Tillie once again found scoring a breeze from all over the court. The big man finished 9 of 13 from the floor and 3-4 from 3-point range. He also made 13 of his 14 3-point attempts over the three games in Las Vegas.

He wasn’t the only Gonzaga player to find the scoring touch against the Cougars, as Zach Norvell Jr. (17), Josh Perkins (11) and Johnathan Williams (10) also finished in double figures.

The Bulldogs opened up a nine-point lead going into the half before starting the second half on a 27-4 run to put the game out of BYU’s reach.

Yoeli Childs led the Cougars with 20 points, while Elijah Bryant had 11.

GU shot 46.8 percent overall and 43.5 percent from deep, while BYU was 35.5 percent from the floor and 31.6 percent from 3-point range.

The Zags also won the rebounding battle 41-33, but turned the ball over 11 times to BYU’s 10.

Gonzaga now much wait to see when, where and who it will play next in the NCAA Tournament. The selection show will take place Sunday at 3 p.m. on TBS.

Second half

Final – Gonzaga 74, BYU 54: Absolute masterpiece for the Bulldogs tonight as they claim their sixth straight WCC Tournament title.

Tillie was a beast all tourney, and didn’t disappoint tonight. He finishes with 22 points and had at least 20 in all three games.

GU now waits for Selection Sunday to find out their NCAA Tournament seed and location. Two routs might just help their cause to try and lock up a top-4 seed.

3:35 – Gonzaga 71, BYU 47: That’s more like it from GU as Perkins slashes through the lane for a bucket, followed by a Williams left-handed hook.

Four GU players into double figures now as Williams (10) and Perkins (11) join Norvell and Tillie.

Speaking of Tillie, the soon-to-be-named Tournament MVP (just a guess) takes a nice feed inside and powers through contact for a bucket and a foul.

He’s at 21 points.

7:00 – Gonzaga 65, BYU 43: Roles reversing over the last minute as BY is starting to find its shot again and the Zags have gone cold.

Cougars rattle off a 10-0 run, prompting a Mark Few timeout.

SIlly turnovers creeping in as well for GU as they look to close this one out.

9:10 – Gonzaga 65, BYU 33: This one is looking closer and closer to being over by the second.

Tillie triple, Melson triple and some outstanding defense has Gonzaga running away with the WCC Tournament title.

17 so far for Tillie, while Norvell is at 14. Shooting percentage is now at the 50 percent mark overall for GU, while BYU is shooting just 28.3 percent.

Zags also crushing the Cougars on the boards 36-21.

Second-half run now up to 27-4 in favor of the Bulldogs. Wow.

15:42 – Gonzaga 47, BYU 29: It’s all Bulldogs out of the gate, forcing an early BYU timeout after a nifty Perkins to Williams dish and finish.

Although not scoring well, Perkins is doing a great job distributing the ball, as he’s already up to six assists to just one turnover.

Bulldogs tenacious on defense to start the half as BYU has already turned the ball over twice, one of which led to Norvell being fouled on a 3-point attempt. He’s now up to 14 points to lead the Zags.

Bulldogs on a 9-0 run to start the second half.

First half

Halftime – Gonzaga 38, BYU 29: Well that’s one way to finish a half for Gonzaga as he flips in a layup in heavy traffic as the buzzer sounds. Unlucky not to be at the line as well as he drew quite a bit of contact.

Great half from Tillie and Norvell, both already up to double figures.

Zags shooting 44.4 percent overall and 46.2 percent from deep, while BYU is hitting at a 36.7 clip overall and 40 percent from 3-point range. GU also outrebounding BYU 25-15.

1:13 – Gonzaga 34, BYU 24: Following the lead of Tillie, Childs has hit his first three 3-point attempts.

Silas Melson finally gets on the board for the Zags with a wide-open 3-pointer, followed by buckets at the rim from both Perkins and Johnathan Williams. That’s a 7-0 run for GU after BYU tied the game at 27.

3:25 – Gonzaga 27, BYU 24: 7-0 run from BYU puts the Cougars on top, but Tillie finds his range again and drains another triple. The sophomore follows that up with a strong move and bucket in the paint as he’s up to 10 points.

GU doing a very good job on the defensive end, as BYU is shooting just 34.6 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from deep.

Childs still leading the way for the Cougars with 13 points, while the next highest scorer is Elijah Bryant at seven points.

7:55 – Gonzaga 20, BYU 16: The hot-shooting streak finally comes to an end for Tillie, who has missed two 3-pointers in a row after making his first 12 attempts in the tournament.

He’s making up for it on the other end of the court though, including a huge swat on a very overmatched BYU guard.

Perkins still struggling to find the game as he’s called for a travel heading into the media timeout. GU is up to five turnovers so far, compared to just three for BYU.

10:38 – Gonzaga 18, BYU 14: Fantastic start here from Zach Norvell as the guard has knocked down three of his first four shots and has nine points.

He’s carrying the guard trio right now as the duo of Josh Perkins and Silas Melson are a combined 0 for 5.

Rui Hachimura also making an immediate impact of the bench. The sophomore forward has four quick points and has pulled down three rebounds.

Zags shooting under 40 percent from the field early on (38.9), but have made four 3-pointers to make up for it.

14:44 – Gonzaga 11, BYU 10: No stopping the Gonzaga offense so far as GU has already hit three 3-pointers, including another make from Killian Tillie.

BYU isn’t shying away from the early challenge though, as big man Yoeli Childs is already up to eight points.

Very evenly-matches contest so far.

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Blanchette: Vegas has played host to plenty of memorable WCC tournament moments for Gonzaga

Spokesman-Review columnist John Blanchette takes a look at GU's all-time starting five at the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas. (SR)
Spokesman-Review columnist John Blanchette takes a look at GU's all-time starting five at the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas. (SR)

LAS VEGAS – In a city that can make a 24-hour stay feel like a lifetime, a decade is an epoch.

And epochs demand historical record-keeping.

The marriage of the West Coast Conference tournament and Las Vegas turns 10 this week, an anniversary of such happy construct that it’s hard to remember the Pliocene days when the event was played on an assortment of rotating home courts – the road inevitably doubling back to Santa Clara, it seemed, and later San Diego. … READ MORE »

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