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Gonzaga hangs on against Pepperdine

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The Bulldogs had to sweat out another close game, but regain first place in the WCC.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga closed the game out and defeated Pepperdine for the 31st straight time, 69-66, on Saturday night in a West Coast Conference matchup.

Domantas Sabonis notched a double-double, with 20 points and 11 rebounds in the game for the Bulldogs. He shot just 4-of-5 from the floor, but impressively connected on all 12 of his free throw attempts. Sabonis also scored 12 in the first half.

Gonzaga (19-5, 11-2 WCC) shot just 4-of-19 from three-point range in the game, as Pepperdine (14-10, 7-6) got hot from deep early in the second half to close the gap and keep it close the majority of the game.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 13-point lead early in the second half, but Pepperdine's Stacy Davis ripped off eight straight points to cut the lead to five. Davis finished with a game-high 26 points on 8-of-10 shooting and added seven boards.

Gonzaga started the game on a 9-0 run and led 34-26 at the half.

Kyle Wiltjer had a quiet night by his standards, knocking down just one of his six three-pointers, and scoring 17 points to go along with a single rebound.

For the most part, the Gonzaga backcourt of Josh Perkins and Silas Melson was quiet. But they made a few highlight plays.

In the first half, Melson drove to the hoop and made a nice adjustment in midair to convert the layup. He also had a big and-one midway through the second half off a sweet no-look pass from Perkins.

Perkins also chased down his own miss early in the final period and put it back in to score. Melson scored nine points in the game, and Perkins scored ten points on just 3-of-11 shooting. Perkins also had six rebounds and five assists.

Pepperdine never could get over the hump in the game. The Waves pulled to within two with 25 seconds to go, but Gonzaga knocked down its free throws and notched the win.

Lamond Murray Jr. scored 15 points for the Waves.

With the win, the Zags claim a half-game lead in the WCC, and return to the court Thursday, at Portland.