Wiltjer scores 21 as Zags down BYU 71-68 for share of WCC
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Kyle Wiltjer scored 21 points as Gonzaga defeated BYU 71-68 in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday night.
Gonzaga (23-7, 15-3) secured the No. 2 seed in the West Coast Conference tournament and earned a share of the regular-season title. The Bulldogs need St. Mary's to lose to San Francisco on Saturday night for the No. 1 seed and be crowned the lone regular-season champion.
Gonzaga seemed poised to run away with the game after taking a 60-48 lead midway through the second half, but BYU went on a 11-2 run capped by a Nick Emery 3-pointer to cut the lead to 62-59.
Domantas Sabonis answered with six straight points for Gonzaga to keep the Cougars at bay. Sabonis finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds for his 19th double-double of the season, including 12 in last 14.
Chase Fischer led BYU (22-9, 13-5) with 18 and Kyle Collinsworth finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds. BYU turned the ball over on its final possession before a last second full-court miss.
BYU struck first in the first half with a 7-0 run highlighted by a 3-pointer and fast-break layup from Emery to take a 24-18 lead.
Then Wiltjer warmed up.
The WCC's top scorer scored eight points on a variety of hooks and floaters, along with an up-and-under move during a 16-1 run that gave the Bulldogs a 36-27 lead. BYU went cold during the run and failed to score a field goal for 6:28.
The Cougars cut the lead to four thanks to four points from the free-throw line and went into halftime trailing 38-34.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have held their last 11 opponents under 70 points. …Gonzaga has shot a higher field goal percentage in 26 of 30 games this year.
BYU: The Cougars shot just 29.7 percent from the floor, including 35 percent from behind the arc, in the first half. … Chase Fischer became the 48th player in BYU history to score 1,000 career points (1,010).
Gonzaga shot 56 percent from the field in the first half, but didn't capitalize because of 11 first-half turnovers. The Cougars scored 10 points off turnovers in the half. Gonzaga entered the game averaging 10.3 turnovers per game in conference play.
Both teams travel to Las Vegas for the WCC tournament.