Forwards Killian Tillie and Filip Petrusev combined for 36 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists as No. 1 Gonzaga held off visiting Pepperdine 75-70 on Saturday night in a West Coast Conference game in Spokane, Wash.
The Bulldogs (16-1 overall, 2-0 WCC) became the first team to win three consecutive games after moving to the top of the Associated Press poll this season. Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, Louisville and Kansas failed to win more than two in a row after ascending to No. 1.
Tillie, a senior forward from France, scored a team-high 20 points and blocked a 3-point attempt by Pepperdine’s Colbey Ross with six seconds remaining that would have tied the score. Gonzaga’s Admon Gilder made two free throws with three seconds left to cap the scoring.
Petrusev had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Joel Ayayi scored 12 points and Corey Kispert added 10 for the Bulldogs, who won their 29th consecutive WCC regular-season game and extended their home winning streak to 32, the longest current run in the nation.
Gilder, a graduate transfer from Texas A&M, had a strong all-around game with 11 points, five rebounds and four steals.
Ross scored a game-high 24 points and had 10 assists for the Waves (7-9, 0-2), who lost to Gonzaga for the 38th consecutive time dating to 2002.
The Bulldogs, who had to rally from a seven-point halftime deficit to win their conference opener Thursday at Portland, were tied 37-all at the intermission against Pepperdine.
The second half went back and forth. Gonzaga took a 51-44 lead only to see the Waves respond with a 9-0 run.
The Bulldogs regained a 59-54 lead, then Pepperdine’s Sedrick Altman made a 3-pointer and Ross added a jumper with 8:17 left to tie it at 59-all.
Gilder’s 3-pointer with 8:03 left broke the tie and sparked a 10-2 run, but the Waves wouldn’t crash.
—Field Level Media