January 12, 2018 / 4:24 AM / 9 months ago

Melson's career night lifts No. 15 Gonzaga to blowout win

Senior guard Silas Melson established career bests of 23 points and seven 3-point baskets to lead No. 15 Gonzaga to a 103-57 victory over Portland on Thursday in West Coast Conference play at Spokane, Wash.

Sophomore forward Rui Hachimura matched his career high of 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting for the Bulldogs (15-3, 5-0 WCC), who defeated the Pilots for the ninth consecutive time. Sophomore forward Killian Tillie added 15 points and junior guard Josh Perkins contributed 13 points and seven assists as Gonzaga topped 100 points for the sixth time this season.

The Bulldogs have won their five WCC games by an average of 35.4 points. Gonzaga is 37-2 against Portland during coach Mark Few’s 18 seasons.

Freshman guard Marcus Shaver Jr. scored 16 points for the Pilots (6-12, 0-5), who have dropped their last five games. Sophomore guard Franklin Porter added 11 points for Portland, which shot just 30 percent from the field while being outrebounded 50-32.

Gonzaga shot 52.6 percent from the field, including 59 percent in the second half.

Melson knocked down five 3-pointers in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second half as Gonzaga turned a 16-point halftime edge into a 68-39 lead.

“Today my shot was falling,” Melson said on a postgame interview on ROOT. “It was just my number.”

Melson’s first 3-pointer of the second half pushed the margin to 50-30 with 18:48 left and he connected on another exactly one minute later to make it a 22-point advantage. He drained two more in the ensuing 64 seconds to make it 61-37 and nailed the final one of the stretch to boost the lead to 29 with 13:32 to play.

Melson made a two-point basket with 10:22 left to push the lead above 30 at 77-46. The lead topped out at 46 points.

Hachimura was Gonzaga’s top performer in the first half with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting as the Bulldogs led 45-29 at the break.

Perkins hit a 3-pointer to give Gonzaga a 24-10 lead with 9:32 left in the first half. Melson sank one of his two first-half 3-pointers to push the advantage to 41-25 with 2:37 to go.

—Field Level Media

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