Zach Norvell Jr. drilled a 3-pointer to snap a tie, and Johnathan Williams converted a driving layup on the next trip to lift No. 14 Gonzaga past BYU 68-60 Saturday night in a West Coast Conference matchup at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash.
Reserve forward Rui Hachimura scored 15 points to lead the Bulldogs (21-4, 11-1 WCC). Josh Perkins added 14 points, and Williams finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Gonzaga stayed within a game of first-place Saint Mary’s in the league.
T.J. Haws tallied a game-high 22 points for the Cougars, who had won in each of their past three trips to Gonzaga. Luke Worthington chipped in 16, while Yoeli Childs finished with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double.
BYU (18-7, 7-5) missed out on a chance for a marquee win that would have beefed up a slender at-large resume for NCAA Tournament purposes. One big reason for the defeat was the bench. Thanks in part to Hachimura, the Bulldogs produced 22 points from substitutes, or 22 more than the Cougars got.
BYU chased the lead the whole second half, finally drawing even when Haws canned a short pullup jumper in the lane with 2:38 left to make it 59-59. However, Norvell’s response put Gonzaga ahead to stay just 19 seconds later.
Williams added his bucket with 1:36 left for a 64-60 advantage. Hachimura and Perkins each converted a pair of foul shots in the final 29 seconds to seal the outcome.
Gonzaga led for almost the entire first half, but BYU was able to keep in touch. In fact, the Cougars actually held a 17-16 edge with 10:52 remaining after Childs converted a layup.
The Bulldogs responded by scoring the next eight points, Hachimura ending the spurt by turning Perkins’ pass into a layup at the 9:11 mark for a 24-17 advantage. Gonzaga upped the lead to 36-24 late in the half on a Perkins steal and layup, and the hosts took a 36-26 margin to the locker room at halftime.
The Bulldogs finished with a 14-4 advantage in points off turnovers, committing only six miscues on the evening. The Cougars gave the ball away 12 times.
—Field Level Media