SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Rui Hachimura scored 23 points as No. 2 Gonzaga beat Pepperdine 92-64 on Thursday night, keeping the door open to a possible No. 1 ranking next week.
Zach Norvell Jr. added 21 and Brandon Clarke had 16 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks for Gonzaga (26-2, 13-0), which won its 17th consecutive game, longest streak in the nation.
Darnell Dunn scored 16 and Jade Smith had 13 for Pepperdine (12-16, 5-9), which lost to the Zags for the 36th consecutive time dating to 2002.
Gonzaga shot 63 percent while holding Pepperdine to 39 percent to coast to victory. The Zags jumped out to a 21-11 lead midway through the first, using a pressure defense to disrupt the Waves.
Hachmiura sank consecutive baskets as Gonzaga built a 28-15 lead. Norvell scored 10 consecutive Gonzaga points as the Bulldogs took a 41-26 lead.
Hachmiura’s 3-pointer at the buzzer lifted Gonzaga to a 53-33 lead at halftime. He had 21 points in the first, Norvell had 17, and Gonzaga shot 65.6 percent.
Gonzaga opened the second half with a 15-2 run to go up 68-35.
Pepperdine went on a 21-3 run to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 71-56.
But the Zags replied with a 12-2 run to push the lead back to 25 at 83-58 with five minutes left.
Pepperdine: The Waves have already doubled their win total from last year under first-year coach Lorenzo Romar. ... Romar faced Gonzaga numerous times when he was head coach at Washington. ... Colbey Ross entered the game averaging 18.7 points and 7.3 assists per game. ... Pepperdine played without second-leading scorer Kameron Edwards, out indefinitely with a foot injury.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs could return to No. 1 if they win both games this week, after top-ranked Duke was upset by No. 8 North Carolina on Wednesday. ... The Zags lead the nation with an average of 90.2 points per game and with 52.8 percent field goal shooting. ... They are seeking to go undefeated in the WCC for the first time since 2013. ... Gonzaga has won at least 25 games for the 12th consecutive season.
Pepperdine hosts Portland on Saturday.
Gonzaga hosts BYU on Saturday.
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