Zach Norvell Jr. scored 28 points to help top-ranked Gonzaga record a 103-92 victory over Creighton on Saturday at Omaha, Neb.
Brandon Clarke scored 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting and pulled down 10 boards for the Bulldogs (8-0). Rui Hachimura recorded 22 points and recorded 11 rebounds.
Ty-Shon Alexander led Creighton (6-2) with 27 points and five assists. Damien Jefferson added 15 points and nine boards for the Bluejays, who went to the free-throw line only four times in the second half.
The Bulldogs went 18 of 21 from the foul line in the second half. Gonzaga was 22 of 27 overall, compared to 6 of 10 for Creighton.
Exactly one year ago on Dec. 1, the two teams met in Spokane, Wash. Gonzaga trailed by seven at halftime but went on to outscore the Bluejays by 16 in the second half and beat Creighton 91-74.
The Bulldogs again trailed by seven at halftime on Saturday and this time they outscored the Bluejays 62-44 over the final 20 minutes. Norvell who scored 21 points last season, struck for 23 second-half points, making 7 of 13 field-goal attempts and going 5-for-11 from beyond the arc.
After Corey Kispert’s 3-pointer gave Gonzaga its first lead since early in the first half, Norvell connected on back-to-back 3-pointers after a 3 by Josh Perkins to put the Bulldogs up 81-73 with 9:40 left in the game.
The Bulldogs would extend their lead to 88-76 on Clarke’s layup with 4:22 left.
The Bluejays went on a 7-0 run to trim the Bulldogs’ lead to 90-85 but that’s as close as Creighton would get.
Since losing to Ohio State on Nov. 15, the Bluejays had been on a tear winning four straight and averaging 93 points while shooting 57 percent from the field, including 47 percent on 3-pointers.
The Bluejays led for all but 24 seconds in the entire half. Creighton made the Bulldogs defense look ordinary, connecting on 47 percent of its field goals.
Gonzaga had been holding opponents to 28 percent from beyond the arc. In the first half, Creighton made 9 of 20 3-point attempts.
—Field Level Media