February 10, 2019 / 5:22 AM / 10 days ago

No. 4 Gonzaga makes quick work of St. Mary's

Feb 9, 2019; Spokane, WA, USA; McCarthey Athletic Center before the St. Mary's Gaels at Gonzaga Bulldogs men's basketball game. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Clarke scored a game-high 24 points in just 23 minutes Saturday night as No. 4 Gonzaga remained unbeaten in the West Coast Conference with a 94-46 rout of visiting Saint Mary’s in Spokane, Wash.

Clarke added six rebounds and three blocked shots for the Bulldogs (23-2, 10-0), which established a 53-20 halftime lead and never looked back. Gonzaga canned 58.3 percent of its field goal tries and drew assists on 22 of its 35 field goals.

Rui Hachimura added 18 points and seven boards in an efficient 24 minutes for the Zags, which also got 15 points off the bench from Filip Petrusev, 12 from Zach Norvell and 10 from Corey Kispert. Senior point guard Josh Perkins dished out nine assists in 24 minutes.

Tommy Kuhse scored 12 points to pace the Gaels (15-10, 6-4), and Malik Fitts added 11. Jordan Ford, who entered the game as the team’s leading scorer at 22.1 points per game, missed all six of his first-half shots and never got untracked, managing only eight points on 3 of 12 shooting.

Saint Mary’s, which has been known for its offensive efficiency and crisp ball movement in recent years, displayed none of that. The Gaels converted just 15 of 58 field goal attempts and logged just one assist, that coming in the final four minutes.

Clarke wasted no time putting his stamp on the game. He turned a Norvell pass into a bucket 13 seconds into the game, a portent of what was to happen. Clarke’s two free throws at the 17:42 mark gave Gonzaga a quick 11-0 lead, Clarke providing six of those points.

The Zags owned a double-digit lead for the final 36:17, punishing Saint Mary’s with their inside game consistently. The margin reached 20 for the first time when Petrusev sank two foul shots with 9:44 left for a 30-10 advantage.

Gonzaga finished the half as it started it — with 11 straight points. Jeremy Jones capped the spurt by converting a Hachimura feed into a layup that made it a 33-point margin at intermission.

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