Josh Perkins scored 10 points and dished out nine assists to become Gonzaga’s all-time assists leader as the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs cruised past Pepperdine 92-64 on Thursday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Perkins tied Matt Santangelo’s previous program record of 668 assists with seven helpers in the first half, but did not get the record-breaking pass until midway through the second half on a lob to Brandon Clarke.
The Bulldogs also clinched the outright WCC regular-season title after San Francisco defeated BYU on Thursday in Provo, Utah. It is GU’s seventh straight conference title.
Rui Hachimura led all scorers with 23 points, while Zach Norvell Jr. added 21 for the Bulldogs (26-2, 13-0 WCC). Clarke finished with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Darnell Dunn paced the Waves (12-16, 5-9) with 16 points.
Gonzaga shot 62.7 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from deep, while Pepperdine shot 38.2 percent overall and 30.4 percent from 3-point range.
GU outrebounded the Waves 38-29 and outscored PU in the paint 52-38.
The Bulldogs will play their final game of the season in the Kennel on Saturday against BYU (7 p.m., ESPN)
Final – Gonzaga 92, Pepperdine 64: After two tough road games last week, the second-ranked Bulldogs breeze by Pepperdine to open their final homestand of the season.
Next up, a Senior Night showdown with BYU.
Impressive showing on both ends of the court for Gonzaga tonight.
3:48 – Gonzaga 85, Pepperdine 58: With the record-watch completed, the Zags have settled back into the flow of the game.
Josh Perkins hits double figures with 10 points, joining Rui Hachimura (23), Zach Norvell Jr. (21) and Brandon Clarke (16) at that mark. Clarke also notches a double-double with 11 rebounds.
Mark Few turns to the bench for the final few minutes. Perkins likely to come up one assist short of a double-double.
Darnell Dunn leading Pepperdine with 16 points.
8:09 – Gonzaga 77, Pepperdine 56: And there it finally is, Josh Perkins finds Brandon Clarke with a lob in the paint and the big man converts for Perkins’ record-breaking assist – his eighth of the game and 669th of his career.
Perkins passes Matt Santangelo, who is in attendance tonight.
Just for good measure, Perk adds a ninth before a Pepperdine timeout. The Waves closed to within 15 points before a 6-0 run.
11:55 – Gonzaga 70, Pepperdine 45: Gonzaga’s defense really turning up the pressure this half as Pepperdine is up to eight turnovers on the night.
Josh Perkins really trying to make that record-breaking assist a highlight-reel dime, but that has led to four turnovers, including two in this half.
Brandon Clarke becomes the third GU player into double figures with 10 points. Filip Petrusev knocking on the door with eight.
Bulldogs getting less shots off this half, but are still shooting a staggering 70 percent over the last eight-plus minutes.
15:50 – Gonzaga 64, Pepperdine 35: Zach Norvell Jr. keeps it going after his strong first half. He hits a 17-foot jumper to get to XX points.
Josh Perkins still searching for that record-breaking assist, but in the meantime he’s scored four points to get to eight on the night.
Jade’ Smith the first Waves player into double figures with 11 points. Colbey Ross, who missed much of the first half with two fouls, has seven points and four assists.
Zags on a 6-0 run and a 21-5 run over the last seven minutes.
Double-double watch for Hachimura (21 points and seven rebounds) and Perkins (eight points, seven assists).
Halftime – Gonzaga 53, Pepperdine 33: What a half of basketball from the Bulldogs as the offense was as efficient as it can be.
Josh Perkins sits for the final two minutes of the half, leaving him tied with Matt Santangelo for the assists record. Safe bet he’ll break that quickly in the second half.
Rui Hachimura dominating again tonight. He leads all scorers with 21 points, followed by Zach Norvell Jr.’s 17 points.
Jade’ Smith and Darnell Dunn have nine points each for the Waves.
Zags shoot an incredible 65.6 percent overall and 46.2 percent from 3-point range, while Pepperdine shoots 41.2 percent from the floor and 31.3 percent from deep in the half.
Zags outrebounding the Waves 19-13 and outscoring PU in the paint 28-18.
2:00 – Gonzaga 47, Pepperdine 30: Rui Hachimura having himself quite the half. The junior forward now has 17 points and five rebounds, including a tough offensive board which he followed with a basket.
Zach Norvell Jr. not letting Rui hog the spotlight though. Snacks drains his fourth 3-pointer of the half and also up to 17 points.
Almost lost in the scoring frenzy is Josh Perkins getting up to seven assists, leaving him just one shy of breaking the GU all-time record.
Zags offense near unstoppable at the moment, playing the best is has in several weeks.
7:14 – Gonzaga 28, Pepperdine 15: Zach Norvell Jr. connects from deep to extend the Zags lead to double figures, forcing Pepperdine coach Lorenzo Romar into a timeout.
Waves respond with a bucket of their own by Jade’ Smith, but Norvell connects again from 3 on the following possession.
Norvell up to six points, while Smith leads the Waves with six.
Nice response by Geno Crandall, who is getting some good minutes early on. After being called for an off-the-ball foul, the grad transfer forces a travel in the lane after a strong 1-on-1 showing.
Rui Hachimura the first player into double figures with 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting.
Massive block by Brandon Clarke leads to a Pepperdine technical foul call, irking Romar even more.
11:40 – Gonzaga 18, Pepperdine 11: Big call early goes in Gonzaga’s favor as Pepperdine standout guard Colbey Ross is called for his second personal foul after a charge on Geno Crandall.
One assist down for Josh Perkins, who also hit GU’s first 3-pointer of the night.
Reserve forward Filip Petrusev also has three points, but gets his the old fashioned way after an and-one basket.
Zags shooting 63.6 percent from the field and 33 percent from deep in the first eight minutes, while holding Pepperdine to 33.3 percent overall and 14.3 percent from 3-point range.
Rui Hachimura leading all scorers with seven points, while Brandon Clarke has four points and a block.
14:48 – Gonzaga 10, Pepperdine 8: Plenty of power inside for Gonzaga over the opening minutes as Rui Hachimura is up to six points and Brandon Clarke has the team’s other four.
GU overcame a stretch of poor possessions to take back the lead after Pepperdine’s 7-0 run put the Waves up 7-2.
Size advantage is apparent in this one for the Zags, as Pepperdine leans heavily on its guard play.
Stat to watch tonight will be Josh Perkins’ assist total – the senior point guard is eight dimes away from breaking Matt Santangelo’s all-time school record of 668.
Gonzaga announces starting 5
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