January 6, 2019 / 4:32 AM / in 5 months

Hachimura, No. 7 Gonzaga cruise by Santa Clara

EditorsNote: Minor fixes down in story

Junior forward Rui Hachimura scored 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting as No. 7 Gonzaga rolled to a 91-48 victory over Santa Clara in West Coast Conference play on Saturday night at Spokane, Wash.

Junior power forward Brandon Clarke contributed 16 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots as the Bulldogs (14-2, 1-0) won their fifth consecutive game. Senior point guard Josh Perkins registered four of Gonzaga’s 14 steals while helping his team defeat Santa Clara for the 18th straight time.

Freshman forward Keshawn Justice scored 14 points for the Broncos (9-7, 1-1), who had a six-game winning streak halted. Sophomore forward Josip Vrankic added 11 points, and sophomore guard Tahj Eaddy had 10.

Gonzaga junior forward Killian Tillie (ankle) made his season debut and scored five points in nine minutes off the bench before fouling out. Senior guard Geno Crandall (broken hand) returned from a nine-game absence and had eight points in 15 minutes.

The Bulldogs forced 23 turnovers and had a 28-4 edge in points scored off miscues. Gonzaga committed just eight turnovers while shooting 51.6 percent from the field, but was just 5 of 19 from 3-point range.

The Broncos shot just 33.3 percent and were 4 of 17 from long range and just 10 of 22 from the free throw line. The Bulldogs hit 22 of 31 free throws.

Gonzaga led by 23 points at halftime and quickly pushed the lead over 30.

Crandall knocked down a jumper to cap an 11-0 surge as the Bulldogs took a 70-34 lead with 12:01 remaining.

The advantage reached 40 for the first time when freshman guard Joel Ayayi scored on a fast-break layup to make it 79-39 with 6:13 left.

The lead topped out at 43 points as Gonzaga closed it out.

Hachimura scored 18 first-half points and Clarke added 13 as the Bulldogs held a 50-27 lead.

Hachimura’s dunk capped a 9-0 run and gave Gonzaga a 20-7 lead with 11:54 left in the half.

The Bulldogs’ lead reached 20 for the first time when Clarke scored in the interior to make it 39-19 with 5:15 remaining.

Tillie’s 3-pointer with 1:13 left accounted for the 23-point halftime lead.

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