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Gonzaga hits the beach and the Waves crash 96-49

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22-0 Will GU return to #1?

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Pepperdine Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

You’d think the Zags would be a little gassed after 4 games in 8 days then having to fly to Los Angeles to play a 5th in 10 days. You’d be wrong. Gonzaga dominated the paint and pretty much everywhere else to roll over the Pepperdine Waves 96-49.

It was apparent early on the waves had no answer for Karnowski, Collins and JWIII. Not only could the Gonzaga bigs score at will, the team pulled down 44 rebounds and had 8 blocks. GU cruised to a 43-21 halftime lead while holding the WCC’s leading scorer, the Waves Lamond Murray Jr. to only two points. Murray came to life scoring 10 more points early in the 2nd half, but Gonzaga’s defense stymied the Waves all night. Pepperdine only shot 30.2% from the field on 19 for 63 shots and made only 1 of their 12 three point attempts.

Surprisingly GU racked up their impressive 96 points despite shooting 5 for 21 from three. Silas Melson was the only Zag hitting from deep tonight, shooting 3 for 3 from beyond the arc and scoring 15 points. Gonzaga did most of their scoring on the interior. Karno had 16 points in 19 minutes along with a couple of sweet assists. Collins had 14 points and for the 2nd game in a row was a perfect 5 for 5 from the field.

Once again balance was the key to the GU win, 4 Zags scored in double figures, 11 put points in the book and 13 saw time on the floor.

Mark Few again went 7 deep for the first 30 minutes, but thankfully for GU fans cleared the bench for the last 10. Jeremy Jones demonstrated his incredible athleticism in one series with a great block on defense then running down the floor to tip in a miss. Rui was 3-4 shooting including a tip in as soon as he entered the game followed by foul-drawing made baby hook while falling down. Ryan Edwards showed why he leads the team in overall Player Efficiency Rating by scoring 4 points in 4 minutes.

It was encouraging to catch a glimpse of Killian Tillie on the bench tonight. He was walking around freely without a boot or crutches.

Gonzaga can finally have a couple days rest before traveling to Provo on Thusday to Face BYU. They return home on Saturday to face Santa Clara. BYU is having a pretty mediocre year by their standards and 18,000 white-shirted, towel waving fans will be urging the Cougars to knock off what will probably be the #1 team in the nation.