No. 6 Gonzaga earns WCC title with 79-65 win over BYU
PROVO, Utah (AP) — Ho hum, it’s another West Coast Conference championship for Gonzaga.
Johnathan Williams scored 16 points, and the sixth-ranked Bulldogs clinched the conference title with a 79-65 victory over BYU on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (27-4, 17-1) have won at least a share of 18 of the past 19 regular-season WCC championships, including each of the past six seasons.
Zach Norvell Jr. had 15 points and five rebounds for Gonzaga, which got off to a fast start and also played well right after halftime.
“We came out with the mindset that we didn’t wanna share the conference title with St. Mary’s,” Williams said. “We just made sure we came out fiery and we made sure we were clicking on all cylinders.”
Yoeli Childs led BYU (22-9, 11-7) with 19 points and eight rebounds. Elijah Bryant overcame a cold start to contribute 16 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
Gonzaga made 10 straight field goals on its way to a 23-10 lead. BYU closed to 43-38 at the break, but the Bulldogs outscored the Cougars 32-18 over the first 16:30 of the second half.
“They hit shots and we couldn’t,” Bryant said. “That’s it, plain and simple.”
Gonzaga: Leads 13-6 in the all-time series against BYU, including four straight wins in Provo.
BYU: Is set for the No. 3 seed for the WCC tournament.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few weighed in on the corruption scandal currently rocking college basketball.
“I just think everybody needs to pause for a second and take a deep breath before we just rush to judgment,” Few said. “Let’s see what the truth really is. There’s people that I know, that have wives and kids. It’s not just a coach at so-and-so university, there’s a family behind that coach, too. I hope everybody will kind of pause before they rush to judgment.”
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs earn some time off before playing the winner of the Loyola Marymount-Portland game in the WCC tourney.
BYU: The Cougars also are off before beginning play in the conference tournament.