No. 13 Gonzaga 72, Pepperdine 54

Gonzaga rebounded from a disappointing conference defeat with a

rout.

Matt Bouldin had 18 points and five assists, and Elias Harris

scored 13 points to lead No. 13 Gonzaga to a 72-54 victory over

Pepperdine on Saturday night.

Robert Sacre and Steven Gray scored 12 points apiece and Sacre

added a career-high six blocks for the Bulldogs (22-5, 10-2 West

Coast), who won 14 of 16 games.

On Thursday night, Gonzaga lost 72-66 to Loyola Marymount for

only the third time since 1996.

“I just challenged them,” Bulldogs coach Mark Few said of his

players. “You can’t approach these games like that. You’re getting

everybody’s best shot.”

Bouldin said that Few’s approach worked.

“That LMU game, we didn’t come out with the same kind of fire

we had all season,” Bouldin said. “Tonight, we really made a

focus to push the ball and to play defense the way we have all

season. It really made the difference.”

Gonzaga made its first 10 shots in building a 30-11 lead with

9:59 left in the first half. Gray scored 10 points during the

game’s first 4:45 and Bouldin added eight points during the

run.

Pepperdine’s Keion Bell, the West Coast Conference’s

second-leading scorer, took only four shots in the first half and

missed three. He finished the half with three points.

“He’s a really crafty, shifty player one-on-one,” Gray said.

“He handles the ball so well. But the guys behind me just built a

wall against him. When he was getting the ball and driving, he was

looking at three or four sets of eyes.”

The Bulldogs led by as many as 24 points, scored 28 points in

the lane and 16 points off turnovers, and forced the Waves to shoot

27.1 percent for the game.

Gonzaga needs one more victory to secure the top seed in the

West Coast Conference tournament and at least a tie for its 10th

consecutive regular-season championship.

Bell finished with 17 points and tied a season best with 10

rebounds for the Waves (7-21, 3-9), who have lost nine consecutive

games and 11 of 14. Mychel Thompson added 11 points.

Gonzaga extended its winning streak against Pepperdine to 18

games dating from 2002.