No. 6 Gonzaga beats Santa Clara 79-57
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Przemek Karnowski scored 18 points and Kyle Wiltjer added 16 as No. 6 Gonzaga beat Santa Clara 79-57 on Saturday.
Kevin Pangos scored 13 points and Domantas Sabonis and Byron Wesley had 11 each for Gonzaga (16-1, 5-0 West Coast), which has won nine straight.
Matt Hubbard scored 15 points and Sam Brownridge 14 for cold-shooting Santa Clara (7-10, 2-4)
Gonzaga has won 34 straight home games, second-longest streak in the nation after Duke’s 41-game run. They have beaten the Broncos nine consecutive times since 2011.
Karnowski, who had a 7-inch height advantage over defender Nate Kratch, made 8 of 10 shots. He added nine rebounds as Gonzaga dominated the boards 41-26.
The Zags shot 53 percent and scored 44 points in the paint against the smaller Broncos. Santa Clara shot just 35 percent, and made nine 3-pointers.
Gonzaga made nine of its first 13 shots, most from inside the paint, in jumping to a 21-13 lead. Hubbard hit a pair of 3-pointers to keep the Broncos within striking range.
Brownridge’s basket cut Gonzaga’s lead to 23-20.
Kratch completed a 3-point play to bring Santa Clara within one point at 30-29 with 5:49 left.
But Karnowski replied with two straight baskets and Gonzaga closed the first half with a 14-2 run for a 44-31 lead at intermission.
Karnowski had 12 points in the first half as Gonzaga shot 65 percent. Santa Clara shot just 40 percent in the first.
Things got worse for the Broncos in the second half.
Byron Wesley scored five points as Gonzaga took a 53-38 lead early in the second.
After Hubbard hit a 3-pointer to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 12, the Zags went on a 17-6 run for a 70-47 lead with eight minutes left. Wiltjer had six points in the run.
The Broncos did not threaten after that.
Santa Clara: The Broncos average just 61.5 points per game, but allow only 65.7 ppg … Jared Brownridge is shooting 45 percent from 3-point range … Brownridge was last year’s WCC newcomer of the year.
Gonzaga: Made a season-high 12 3-pointers in beating San Francisco on Thursday … is 4-0 to start West Coast Conference play for the third straight season … Gonzaga has six players averaging at least 8 points per game … Gonzaga ranks second in the nation in field goal percentage at 52.8.
Santa Clara hosts St. Katherine on Tuesday.
Gonzaga plays at Pepperdine on Thursday.