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Gonzaga wins 43rd straight game against Pepperdine

The Bulldogs posted an 86-66 win in Malibu.

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Pepperdine Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Gonzaga Bulldogs continued their mastery over the beleaguered Pepperdine Waves with a victory that extended the program’s win streak against the Waves to 43 games.

A pair of Zags set new career highs as Andrew Nembhard dished out 14 assists, just two off the program record of 16, to make up for a rough shooting night that saw him go 1-8 from the field. Chet Holmgren finished with a career high of 17 rebounds to go with 4 blocks and 18 points while disrupting Pepperdine’s interior offense for the entirety of the game. Drew Timme led the team in scoring with 19 points and 5 rebounds, while Anton Watson had a strong outing off the bench with 16 points.

Pepperdine has itself a legitimate player in Houston Mallette, who led all scorers with 25 points, though it wasn’t an efficient evening as he went 8-23 from the field, including 2-8 from the three-point line. Jan Zidek had 16 points and Daryl Polk Jr. rounded out the double digit scoring for the Waves with 10 points.

The Firestone Fieldhouse has been the scene of some funky games for Gonzaga over the years. This one looked like it was on its way to being a ho-hum blowout despite some sloppy play from the Zags over various stretches of the game.

Pepperdine, seemingly out of nowhere, showed signs of life a few minutes into the second half. The Waves reeled off a 10-0 run over two plus minutes, cutting Gonzaga’s lead to eight points in front of a delighted crowd. Timme ended the run with a three-point play, but the Waves rode their confidence to a higher level of play over the next few minutes while capitalizing on careless play from Gonzaga.

The Zags eventually regained control of the game, but even with Nembhard setting a new career high in assists with some nice dimes, it wasn’t a pretty watch. But, sometimes, that’s just how it goes. Gonzaga didn’t play its A-game, but was fortunate that it didn’t need its A-game against a Pepperdine squad that is mired at the bottom of the WCC.