No. 12 Gonzaga blasts San Diego, sets up WCC clash with Saint Mary’s

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Drew Timme recorded 22 points and 13 rebounds and No. 12 Gonzaga remained alive for a share of the West Coast Conference regular-season title with a 97-72 trouncing of San Diego on Thursday night in Spokane, Wash.

Ben Gregg matched his career best of 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Julian Strawther added 17 points as the Bulldogs (24-5, 13-2 WCC) won their fifth consecutive game. Nolan Hickman added 10 points for Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs are one game behind first-place Saint Mary’s (14-1 WCC) entering Saturday’s regular-season finale in Spokane. Gonzaga has won or shared the title in each of the past 10 seasons.

Jase Townsend scored 15 points and Marcellus Earlington added 11 for San Diego (11-18, 4-11), which lost its fourth straight game and 12th in the last 16.

The Toreros have dropped 16 straight and 27 of their last 28 meetings with Gonzaga. The win was a 69-66 home upset on Feb. 22, 2014.

San Diego leading rebounder, Eric Williams Jr. (foot), missed his fifth consecutive contest.

The Bulldogs shot 54.9 percent from the field despite hitting just 7 of 26 3-pointers (26.9 percent). Gonzaga held a 45-26 rebounding advantage and had a 22-7 edge in points off turnover as it committed just eight miscues while forcing the Toreros into 14.

Timme had eight of Gonzaga’s 18 offensive boards.

San Diego shot 47.5 percent from the field and was 12 of 23 from behind the arc. Townsend made three treys.

San Diego scored the first six points of the game and Gonzaga followed with the next 12 to take the lead for good.

The Bulldogs opened up a 13-point lead before the Toreros went on a 10-4 run to move within 31-24 with 4:35 left in the half. Gonzaga responded by scoring 17 of the final 24 points of the half to lead 48-31 at the break.

The Bulldogs remained hot by opening the second half with a 21-6 surge to take a 32-point lead.

Timme’s putback hoop, Malachi Smith’s 3-pointer and Hunter Sallis’ driving hoop capped the burst to make it 69-37 with 11:27 left in the game.

Gonzaga’s lead topped out at 35 points.

–Field Level Media

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Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.

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