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No. 23 Gonzaga tops San Francisco for 7th straight win

Feb 17, 2024; Spokane, Washington, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few looks on against the Pacific Tigers in the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Graham Ike scored a game-high 26 points and No. 23 Gonzaga celebrated its return to the Top 25 with an 86-68 West Coast Conference win at San Francisco on Thursday.

Nolan Hickman added 19 points for the Bulldogs (23-6, 13-2), who won their seventh straight game and earned a Quad 1 road win that should help their resume for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth. They likely could seal the deal Saturday night if they win at No. 17 Saint Mary’s.

Ryan Nembhard stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Anton Watson chipped in 10 points as Gonzaga converted a whopping 75 percent of its field goal attempts in the second half while going 23 of 28 at the foul line on the night.

Malik Thomas scored 21 points for the Dons (22-8, 11-4), who were hoping to beat the Zags and make a late push toward an at-large berth. Jonathan Mogbo added 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Marcus Williams chipped in 11 points and six assists.

San Francisco couldn’t match Gonzaga’s blistering second half. The Dons made just 36.1 percent of their shots after halftime and trailed by 29 points before scoring the final 11 to make the margin more respectable.

This was a big occasion for the Dons. They moved this game from their cramped on-campus home, War Memorial at The Sobrato Center, to Chase Center, the home court of the Golden State Warriors. And they played like they were worthy of the NBA facility in the first half.

San Francisco jumped out to a 7-2 lead and led for the first 10-plus minutes. After the Zags forged an 18-18 tie just over 10 minutes into the game, the Dons regained a five-point edge.

They nursed that lead until Gonzaga’s last possession of the half, a short jumper by Watson that gave the Zags their first advantage at 35-34.

–Field Level Media

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