Take your pick from the opening 4-plus minutes of the game. Brandon Clarke’s layup and dunk. Rui Hachimura’s two midrange jumpers. Corey Kispert’s 3-pointer. Throw in some stifling defense and the Zags led 11-0 and were on their way to an easy win.
Josh Perkins scored eight straight points in one first-half stretch. The senior point guard finished with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting. He made two 3-pointers, but often used his driving ability to finish at the rim. Perkins added eight assists and had no turnovers in 26 minutes.
Clarke set the tone early, but Zach Norvell Jr. was particularly impressive shutting down Santa Clara’s Trey Wertz. Norvell limited Wertz, who averages 12.2 points, to one bucket in the first half and helped force the 6-foot-5 freshman into three turnovers. Wertz finished with 11 points but committed six turnovers.