STOCKTON, Calif. – Killian Tillie scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as No. 12 Gonzaga overcame a sluggish second half to top Pacific 71-61 on Thursday at the Alex G. Spanos Center.
Johnathan Williams also finished with a double-double of 13 rebounds and 10 points for the Bulldogs (22-4, 12-1 West Coast Conference), which can now look ahead to Saturday’s showdown with 11th-ranked Saint Mary’s.
Gonzaga struggled to get any offense going for much of the second half, shooting just 27.6 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes. The Zags finished the night shooting 39.7 percent overall and 18.2 percent from 3-point range.
When the offense wasn’t there though, Gonzaga turned to its defense to get the job done.
The Bulldogs held Pacific (12-14, 7-6) to 35.7 percent shooting from the floor and forced 13 Tigers’ turnovers.
Also in double figures scoring for the Zags were Zach Norvell Jr. and Rui Hachimura with 10 points apiece.
Pacific was led by Roberto Gallinat’s 15, while Miles Reynolds added 13.
Final – Gonzaga 71, Pacific 61: One of Gonzaga’s more difficult 20 minutes of the season, but the defense gets the job done.
Tillie leads the way with 21 points, while Williams and Norvell Jr also in double figures.
Roberto Gallinat scores 15 for Pacific before fouling out.
Next up: Saint Mary’s on Saturday.
2:35 – Gonzaga 59, Pacific 48: Bulldogs finally get a bucket as Norvell Jr.’s layup breaks a nearly six-minute stretch without a field goal. He’s also now into double figures with 10 points.
Not to be overshadowed by the lackluster offensive play is the performance of the Gonzaga defense. Pacific has turned the ball over 13 times in the game.
One note of concern in the final stretch is Melson has fouled out right at the media timeout. Perkins also with four fouls..
7:28 – Gonzaga 55, Pacific 44: Gonzaga doing a great job getting to the foul line, but the Bulldogs are shooting just 66 percent from the stripe this half.
Neither bench having a huge impact as Gonzaga is outscoring Pacific 12-9 from the reserve player.
Bulldogs hald Pacific without a field goal for more than six minutes. Gonzaga has no field goals in the last 4:50.
Bulldogs shooting just 26 percent from the floor this half, Pacific 28 percent.
11:29 – Gonzaga 49, Pacific 41: Pace of this one starting to reach a crawl, as turnovers and fouls are replacing buckets.
Nice drive from Kispert after a steal gets the Bulldogs going back in the right direction, but Gonzaga can’t seem to find the gear to pull away from Pacific.
Williams also the second Bulldog into double figures with 10 points.
15:03 – Gonzaga 45, Pacific 36: Tillie picks up right where he left off in the first half with five more to start the second. He now has a game-best 16 points, along with six rebounds.
Tillie’s triple also came off Josh Perkins’ fifth assist of the game. The Bulldogs have dished out nine as a team.
Halftime – Gonzaga 36, Pacific 29: Scary moment near half as Pacific’s Lafayette Dorsey fouls Melson on a breakaway, but goes down hard with what appears to be a leg injury. Dorsey helped off the court while Melson stays in the game.
Williams starting to find a groove fro the Zags, as the senior forward has eight points. Tillie still leading the way though with 11.
Bulldogs shooting 53.8 percent overall and 27.3 percent from deep in the half, while Pacific shootings 40.7 overall and 50 percent from 3.
Gallinat leads the Tigers with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.
3:11 – Gonzaga 31, Pacific 27: Quick 4-0 run from Pacific is halted by Norvell’s second triple of the night. The freshman guard is now up to eight points.
Bulldogs starting to get loose with the ball though as Kispert and Silas Melson turn it over on back-to-back possessions.
Pacific pulls within three on a deep 3 from Miles Reynolds, who has averaged nearly 15 points per game in WCC play.
Bulldogs go into the final media break of the half on a big bucket from Hachimura while being grabbed. The sophomore will go to the line for one shot after the break.
8:13 – Gonzaga 24, Pacific 15: First bucket of the night for Senior CLASS Award finalist Johnathan Williams is followed shortly by his second make. He’s now at four points.
Gonzaga shooting at a 55.6 percent clip from the floor, while Pacific is shooting 38.5 percent overall. Bulldogs also doing a very good job of ball control, turning its over just two times so far.
Fouls starting to pile up on the Zags though, including two very quick ones on reserve guard Jeremy Jones. The team has five total.
Tillie the first player into double figures for either team, as his cut to the bucket gets him to 11 points.
11:52 – Gonzaga 16, Pacific 10: Usual bench rotation of Rui Hachimura, Jacob Larsen and Corey Kispert into the game for the Zags and coach Mark Few.
Hachimura quickly gets on the score sheet with a strong left-handed take. Both teams with just one bucket in the short time between media breaks.
13:45 – Gonzaga 14, Pacific 8: Early 3-pointer from Zach Norvell Jr. gets Gonzaga on the board, but Pacific’s Jahlil Tripp answers with a triple of his own.
Roberto Gallinat also hits from deep for the Tigers, but Killian Tillie hits a 3 of his own followed by a nice floater and strong move in the paint for nine quick points.
Gonzaga working hard on the boards with seven rebounds to Pacific’s three.
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