College Basketball NEWS ARCHIVE
No. 1 Gonzaga rolls over San Francisco
Nigel Williams-Goss scored 18 of his 30 points in the second half and Przemek Karnowski added 23 points to lead top-ranked Gonzaga past San Francisco 96-61 at Spokane, Wash., in a West Coast Conference game Thursday.
Williams-Goss made all six of his field-goal attempts in the second half and was 10 of 14 in the game. He also had six of his seven assists in the second half, leading Gonzaga (27-0, 15-0 WCC) to the pull-away victory after leading 42-35 at halftime.
"Nigel was great," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of Williams-Goss, who had 36 points in the previous meeting at San Francisco last month. "Once he gets settled into the game, and starts shooting like that, he's a tough matchup."
The win was tempered by the news that freshman forward Killian Tillie suffered a broken bone in his hand. The injury does not require surgery and the timetable of his return is not certain.
Gonzaga outscored San Francisco 54-26 in the second half by shooting 54.3 percent from the field in the half.
Chase Foster led the Dons (18-10, 8-7) with 13 points and Ronnie Boyce contributed 10.
"Once they get on a roll they are difficult to stop," San Francisco coach Kyle Smith said of Gonzaga. "They can beat you on both sides of the ball. Their defense never let us get on track in the second half."
The game was close through most of the first half with San Francisco taking a 21-16 lead with 9:30 left until halftime. The half included four ties and three lead changes until Gonzaga went on an 8-2 run to gain separation with a 37-29 lead.
After the Dons cut the lead 37-35 with 2:13 left in the first half, Gonzaga closed with five unanswered points on a 3-pointer by Williams-Goss and two free throws by Karnowski.
Gonzaga opened the second half with a 10-2 run, which included two 3-pointers and a layup by Williams-Goss, that put the Bulldogs up 52-37 with 16:53 left in regulation.
San Francisco was held to only 36.1 percent shooting from the field, including only 24.2 percent in the second half.
"We're not a pretty team; we're a blue-collared team," Few said. "We just really challenge our guys defensively and they execute."
Gonzaga outrebounded San Francisco 44-32 behind 11 rebounds by Johnathan Williams, seven by Karnowski and six by Williams-Goss.
The Bulldogs also went to the free-throw 30 times, making 22, behind Williams-Goss making all six of his attempts and Karnowski making 9 of 10.
"Nigel and Przemek really went after it all game," Few said. "The next night it might two other guys. That's what I like about this team."
Gonzaga next plays at Pacific on Saturday while San Francisco plays at Portland. Three regular-season games remain for the Bulldogs in their attempt to remain unbeaten.
"This team has done a great job of staying focused," Few said. "We just have to win that next one and take it from there."
NOTES: Gonzaga has clinched its 10th consecutive 25-win season. The Zags have now reached the 25-win plateau in 13 of the last 14 seasons, and 17 of the last 19. ... San Francisco is off to its best 27-game start since the 1999-2000 season when the Dons were 19-8 at the same mark of the season before finishing at 19-9. ... Gonzaga C Przemek Karnowski is now the program's career leader in victories. The redshirt senior passed Kyle Dranginis and Kevin Pangos with 122 wins in their GU careers. Karnowski owns a 126-13 (.907) career record before Thursday night's game. Dranginis was 122-21, while Pangos was 122-20. ... San Francisco is 0-4 against teams ranked No. 1 in the polls. The Dons previously played a top-ranked team on Jan. 18, 1979, falling 88-69 to Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.