Josh Perkins’ three-point play with 1:27 left Thursday night enabled No. 14 Gonzaga to hold off upset-minded San Diego and take a 69-59 West Coast Conference win at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash.
Perkins’ layup and free throw answered an Olin Carter layup that pulled the Toreros within 63-59 at the 1:57 mark. However, San Diego couldn’t muster one last response, as Gonzaga added a 3-pointer by Zach Norvell with 37 seconds remaining to seal the outcome.
Johnathan Williams tallied 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs (20-4, 10-1 WCC), while Perkins and Norvell were each good for 13 points. Silas Melson chipped in 12.
Carter fired in a game-high 21 points for the Toreros (15-8, 6-5), canning 5 of 11 3-point tries. Isaiah Piniero added 13 despite making only 3 of 11 shots, while Isaiah Wright netted 12 points but was just 4 of 16 from the field.
San Diego stayed in touch all night despite trailing for most of the game, but was ultimately undone by poor shooting. The Toreros made just 20 of 61 from the field (32.8 percent) and 9 of 28 (32.1 percent) from the 3-point arc. Gonzaga hit only 25 of 61 (41 percent) from the floor but was able to outrebound the Toreros 45-37.
San Diego led 15-10 with 13:40 left in the first half when Wright canned a 3-pointer to cap a 10-2 run. However, the Bulldogs scored the next seven points to gain traction, then went on a 12-0 spurt that Perkins finished with a jumper at the 3:45 mark to make it 31-20.
Gonzaga took a 36-27 lead to the half but saw that advantage evaporate in less than 2 1/2 minutes of the second half. The Toreros came flying out of the locker room with a 13-2 run, regaining the lead when Tyler Williams drained a 3-pointer with 17:39 left.
The Bulldogs promptly responded with 11 consecutive points, Melson finishing the spurt with a steal and dunk to made it 49-40 with 11:35 remaining. Piniero’s 3-pointer with 6:05 left pulled San Diego within 51-50, but Gonzaga held the visitors to nine points for the game’s remainder.
—Field Level Media