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Gonzaga ends 2022 with a 44th straight win over Pepperdine

Drew Timme is 7 points away from becoming the most prolific scorer in the Mark Few era.

NCAA Basketball: Pepperdine at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Long live the streaks. The Gonzaga Bulldogs continued their mastery over the Pepperdine Waves with a dominant 111-88 win to close out 2022 and extend the winning streak over the Waves to 44 games and the home winning streak to 74 games.

With a 35-point, 10-rebound, and 5 assist performance, Drew Timme continued his onslaught of both Pepperdine’s defense and Gonzaga’s record books as he passed Elias Harris for fourth in Gonzaga’s all-time scoring list and ascends up rarified air in the program. Timme is now seven points away from passing Adam Morrison for No. 3 and becoming the most prolific scorer in the Mark Few era.

Timme’s eye-popping stat line was augmented by excellent outings from Julian Strawther (22 points, 4 rebounds), Malachi Smith (15 points, 3 rebounds), Rasir Bolton (14 points, 5 assists), Anton Watson (11 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds), and Ben Gregg (10 points, 2 steals). The Zags shot 63% from the field and won the turnover battle (17-11).

Such was both teams defensive effort throughout the first half that you would be forgiven for wondering if you were watching a real game that counted in the standings or a scrimmage between two teams coming off the holidays. The gameplay was exciting to watch, with both teams playing end-to-end basketball, but it was a style of play that heavily favored Gonzaga.

The Waves did a reasonable job of hanging with Gonzaga early. Max Lewis showcased his talent early, picking up a quick 7 points, while Jevon Porter and Houston Mallette flashed and let everyone know that Lewis isn’t a one-man band. Even after Lewis hit the bench with foul trouble, the Waves hung around thanks to Gonzaga’s lackluster defensive effort through the first 13 minutes of the game and even had the game tied at 36-36 with seven minutes left in the first half. And then, the Zags hit the afterburners.

Timme did what he does best as he dominated Pepperdine’s interior defense and continued to augment his case as the national player of the year. While Timme scored at will inside, Gonzaga’s defense tightened up just enough and everyone else busted out their track shoes to put together a 20-4 run to close the first half at 56-40 and get the rout started.

With a new half and Maxwell Lewis back on the floor, Pepperdine tried to make a little push to reel the Zags back in and make the final game of 2022 a little more competitive. Lewis did his part offensively, but there was no stopping Gonzaga’s offense in this game, and certainly not with the defensive gameplan drawn up by Lorenzo Romar for this contest.

Pepperdine had no answers for Timme or Gonzaga, and the Zags should feel very good about themselves entering 2023. Happy New Year to all our readers!