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Recap and highlights: Brandon Clarke, Rui Hachimura lead No. 4 Gonzaga to 93-63 blowout of BYU

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 31, 2019

PROVO, Utah – There was an echo inside the Marriott Center, but it was a soft one.

It usually followed the full-throat eruption by BYU faithful after the Cougars would cut into Gonzaga’s lead.

The sound would bounce off the walls for a minute or two as BYU strung together two or three baskets. Then Gonzaga would answer, usually with a longer run of its own that took the energy out of the crowd.

The fourth-ranked Zags built an early lead, turned away several BYU rallies and coasted to an impressive 93-63 victory Thursday.

Gonzaga (20-2, 7-0 WCC) captured its 28th straight conference road win. The Zags have won five in a row at the Marriott Center, and for one of the rare times they were able to enjoy one without a white-knuckle finish.

BYU dropped to 13-10, 5-3.

Junior forward Brandon Clarke had one of his best performances of the season. He made his first eight shots and finished with 23 points and nine rebounds. Rui Hachimura added 20 points and nine boards.

Corey Kispert hit four 3-pointers and scored 16 points and Josh Perkins handed out 10 assists.

Gonzaga took control early but not without some anxious moments. GU turnovers on its first two possessions turned up the volume, particularly in BYU’s student section, but the Zags lowered the decibel level with 7-0 and 10-0 runs to open up a 17-5 lead.

BYU cut it to 23-18 on the strength of eight straight points by Yoeli Childs, but the Zags took off again with much of the damage coming on the offensive glass. Hachimura drove the lane for a layup and Geno Crandall followed with a pull-up jumper after two offensive boards.

Clarke had a putback dunk and Hachimura’s second-chance layup gave Gonzaga 37-20 lead with 3:05 left.

Childs saw a steady diet of double teams after his scoring run and the Cougars failed to capitalize on his kick-out passes. BYU had decent looks most of the half but couldn’t connect as numerous shots rimmed in-and-out. The Cougars made just 27.3 percent of their first-half shots.

Gonzaga didn’t have the same problem. The Zags had quality attempts on nearly every possession that didn’t end with one of their six first-half turnovers. When they missed, their size inside was too much for the Cougars’ frontcourt. Gonzaga collected seven offensive boards in the first half and had a 10-0 edge in second-chance points.

Childs had five rebounds, but he also played all 20 minutes and seemed to tire later in the half.

Gonzaga’s lead reached 21 when Zach Norvell Jr. scored on an easy layup and Perkins zipped a pass to Hachimura for a dunk. BYU scored the last four points of the half to cut it 41-24 and had a chance at another after a Perkins’ turnover but the clock expired before TJ Haws attempted a layup.

BYU pulled within 13 early in the second half only to watch Clarke take over. He drove around Childs for a basket, dunked home Norvell’s lob pass, buried a 3-pointer and added a steal as Gonzaga rebuilt its lead to 52-32.

The Cougars rallied within 14 only to watch Killian Tillie connect on a 3-pointer.

Gonzaga sent fans streaming for the exits with another burst that opened up a 77-48 lead.

Haws led BYU with 16 points and Childs added 12 on 3-of-11 shooting.

♦  ♦  ♦

Second half

Final – Gonzaga 93, BYU 63: Gonzaga made its last seven field goals to seal the blow out. Brandon Clarke paced the Zags with a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds. Rui Hachimura wasn’t far behind with 20 points and nine boards of his own.

The Zags shot 59 percent from the floor and 68 percent in the second half, easily besting BYU’s 37 percent for the game.

Four of the five Bulldog starters finished with double-digit scoring except Perkins who gave out 10 assists with only two turnovers.

TJ Haws led the Cougars with 16 points and Zac Seljaas had 13.

3:24 – Gonzaga 82, BYU 54: All Zags right now as the game is being blown wide open as fans have begun to head toward the exits.

GU is shooting a blistering 64 percent from the floor

Corey Kispert has led the recent charge with two 3-pointers for a total of 10 points in a four minute span.

Josh Perkins has upped his assist total to 10 on the night.

7:52 – Gonzaga 68, BYU 47: Rui Hachimura scored six points in a row for the Bulldogs, but an impressive finish at the rim by Zach Norvell Jr. and a 3-pointer from Corey Kispert extends the Zags lead to their largest of the night.

Hachimura tied Clarke for the team lead in points this half with 9. Hachimura, Clarke and Norvell Jr. all are in double digits now.

TJ Haws and Yoeli Childs have 12 points apiece to lead BYU.

12:00 – Gonzaga 57, BYU 40: Gonzaga and BYU both have 16 points this half, but the Cougars are balanced with six of its players scoring so far.

TJ Haws leads the Cougars with six points this half.

Killian Tillie came off the bench to nail his first 3-point attempt of the night.

Josh Perkins had already dished out three assists this half and Zach Norvell Jr. has two.

15:58 – Gonzaga 52, BYU 32: The Cougars opened up the half cutting the deficit to 13, but an alley-oop from Zach Norvell Jr. to Brandon Clarke and a subsequent 3-pointer from Clarke extended the Bulldogs lead.

The Zags have only missed one of their first six shots.

BYU is also shooting the ball well so far, making four of its first seven shots.

Clarke has nine of Gonzaga’s 11 points to start the second period for a game-high 17.

First half

Halftime – Gonzaga 41, BYU 24: The rout is on in Provo as the Zags are outmatching the Cougars in every part of the game.

Rui Hachimura leading the way with 11 points for the Zags, while Zach Norvell Jr. is right behind with 10 points.

Zags shooting 51.4 percent overall and 40 percent from deep, while holding the Cougars to 27.3 percent from the floor and just 18.2 percent from 3-point range.

Brandon Clarke has eight points for the Zags, while Corey Kispert has six after his two 3-pointers.

Yoeli Childs leads BYU with eight points.

Zags outrebounding the Cougars 26-17 and outscoring BYU in the paint 24-14. GU also with 11 assists to BYU’s two.

3:05 – Gonzaga 37, BYU 20: Gonzaga’s defense has locked down the Cougars after BYU cut the Zags lead to five midway through the half.

Zach Norvell Jr. hits his second 3-pointer of the night and is up to eight points.

Rui Hachimura doing a much better job defending Yoeli Childs. Zags are also doubling down on the big man in the paint and clogging up passing lanes.

GU getting it done inside as well, as Rui Hachimura (nine points) and Brandon Clarke (eight points) are throwing it down with ease.

All Zags over the last six minutes with a 14-2 run.

7:10 – Gonzaga 29, BYU 18: Yoeli Childs wakes up in a big way for BYU. The center now has eight points, three of which have come from the free-throw line.

Early foul concerns off the bench for GU as Geno Crandall picks up two calls in his six minutes of court time. The grad transfer stays out on the court though as GU is thinnest at point guard.

Nice half for GU’s Josh Perkins, who has dished out five assists in 11 minutes. BYU has just one assist to Gonzaga’s eight.

Combo of Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke also playing well inside for Gonzaga. Both have six points.

11:48 – Gonzaga 21, BYU 11: Bulldogs having no trouble scoring the ball in Provo tonight. Zags shooting an impressive 64.3 percent from the floor and 75 percent from deep.

Another triple from Corey Kispert gets the sophomore wing up to six points. Zach Norvell Jr., who opened the game with a turnover and foul, now has five points.

BYU on the other hand is shooting a chilly 28.6 percent overall.

Early minutes off the bench for Geno Crandall and Killian Tillie. The Zags have trotted out the two reserves near the six-minute mark most of the month.

15:17 – Gonzaga 11, BYU 5: Not an ideal first minute for the Zags as the first two possessions result in GU turnovers.

Corey Kispert quickly gets the GU offense back on track though with a corner 3-pointer.

BYU’s TJ Haws already a problem on the defensive end for the Bulldogs, as the speedy guard is up to four quick points, but the rest of the Cougars haven’t posed much of a scoring threat.

Zags also keeping Yoeli Childs quiet. The WCC’s top scorer has yet to take a shot.

Gonzaga announces starting 5

Pregame

Game preview

Gonzaga roster

No.

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Class

11

Joel Ayayi

G

6-5

Fr

2

Jack Beach

G

6-3

So

15

Brandon Clarke

G

6-8

Jr

0

Geno Crandall

G

6-3

Sr

4

Greg Foster Jr.

G

6-5

Fr

21

Rui Hachimura

F

6-8

Jr

22

Jeremy Jones

F

6-7

Sr

24

Corey Kispert

F

6-6

So

10

Matthew Lang

G

6-3

Fr

5

Alex Martin

G

6-5

Jr

23

Zach Norvell Jr.

G

6-5

So

20

Paul Pennington

G

5-10

Fr

13

Josh Perkins

G

6-3

Sr

3

Filip Petrusev

F

6-11

Fr

33

Killian Tillie

F

6-10

Jr

LEADERS

Player

G

MPG

FG%

FT%

3P%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

PPG

Rui Hachimura

21

29.3

.598

.754

.435

6.2

1.8

0.9

0.7

19.9

Brandon Clarke

21

26.9

.690

.645

.286

7.7

1.7

1.4

3.1

16.3

Zach Norvell Jr.

21

30.0

.421

.841

.368

4.8

3.4

1.5

0.0

15.7

Josh Perkins

21

30.8

.461

.868

.389

3.2

6.6

1.5

0.1

11.0

Corey Kispert

21

27.5

.437

.905

.385

3.9

1.2

0.6

0.4

9.1

Filip Petrusev

20

13.3

.557

.836

.273

3.4

0.3

0.2

0.7

7.8

Killian Tillie

6

19.3

.455

.667

.278

5.2

1.8

1.0

1.2

6.8

Geno Crandall

12

18.8

.385

.621

.250

2.0

2.3

1.1

0.2

5.3

Jeremy Jones

21

14.8

.719

.750

.583

3.7

1.1

0.4

0.1

3.7

Joel Ayayi

14

6.6

.600

.333

.300

1.9

0.5

0.3

0.0

2.4

Matthew Lang

7

2.4

.750

1.000

.500

0.3

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.1

Jack Beach

12

3.1

.571

-

.571

0.3

0.2

0.0

0.0

1.0

Greg Foster Jr.

19

5.5

.286

.500

.167

0.5

0.5

0.2

0.1

0.9

Alex Martin

1

1.0

.000

-

.000

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

BYU roster

No.

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Class

10

Ryan Andrus

F

6-11

So

25

Gavin Baxter

F

6-9

Fr

1

Rylan Bergersen

G

6-6

So

24

McKay Cannon

G

6-0

Sr

23

Yoeli Childs

F

6-8

Jr

4

Nick Emery

G

6-2

Jr

44

Connor Harding

G

6-6

Fr

0

Jahshire Hardnett

G

6-0

Jr

30

TJ Haws

G

6-4

Jr

40

Kolby Lee

F

6-9

Fr

13

Taylor Maughan

G

6-4

Jr

33

Dalton Nixon

F

6-7

Jr

2

Zac Seljaas

G

6-7

Jr

21

Evan Troy

G

6-5

Jr

10

Jesse Wade

G

6-1

So

41

Luke Worthington

F

6-10

Sr

LEADERS

Player

G

MPG

FG%

FT%

3P%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

PPG

Yoeli Childs

22

33.1

.535

.714

.333

9.7

2.2

0.9

1.0

22.3

TJ Haws

22

33.6

.476

.851

.371

4.0

5.2

1.2

0.3

17.6

Jahshire Hardnett

17

25.4

.447

.820

.237

2.1

1.7

1.1

0.0

10.9

Zac Seljaas

22

22.5

.409

.758

.353

3.6

1.3

0.8

0.4

7.2

Connor Harding

22

21.1

.486

.707

.333

3.2

1.5

0.4

0.3

6.7

Nick Emery

13

18.2

.361

.722

.286

1.4

1.7

0.7

0.0

5.2

Dalton Nixon

20

14.5

.438

.724

.063

3.0

1.0

0.5

0.2

3.9

Luke Worthington

22

11.2

.563

.700

-

2.5

0.3

0.4

0.0

3.4

McKay Cannon

22

16.4

.473

.538

.389

1.4

1.2

0.5

0.0

3.3

Gavin Baxter

21

9.6

.614

.429

.000

2.0

0.1

0.1

0.8

3.0

Rylan Bergersen

20

9.0

.419

.593

.292

1.2

0.6

0.1

0.2

3.0

Kolby Lee

12

3.3

.353

.375

.250

1.0

0.1

0.0

0.0

1.3

Evan Troy

7

2.3

.200

-

.000

0.6

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.3

Taylor Maughan

9

1.9

.000

-

.000

0.2

0.1

0.0

0.0

0.0

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