Mathews leads No. 1 Gonzaga past Santa Clara
Feb. 4, 2017
SPOKANE, Wash. Gonzaga played the school's first home game as the nation's No. 1 team on Saturday night, and it went pretty much the way each of its games have gone this season.
Zach Collins added 14 points and eight rebounds in Gonzaga, which did not play a home game when it was ranked No. 1 in 2013. While several Top 25 teams stumbled throughout the day, the Zags (24-0, 12-0 West Coast) shot 61 percent from the field and were in control almost right from the start.
''We did a pretty good job of guarding the 3-point line and getting out on their shooters,'' Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. ''We made them work for baskets.''
KJ Feagin scored 18 points and Jared Brownridge had 13 for Santa Clara (13-12, 7-5) which lost at home to Gonzaga by 31 points in mid-January. It has dropped 14 consecutive games against the Bulldogs.
The Broncos shot 39.6 percent (19 for 48) and were hurt by a 39-18 rebounding deficit.
''That's a good sign for us,'' Few said of the rebounding advantage.
Santa Clara did break Gonzaga's streak of six straight games in which the Bulldogs did not trail, grabbing a 5-4 lead on Nate Kratch's 3-pointer.
Santa Clara led 16-12 when it lost its shooting touch, going 2 for 13 for the rest of the first half. The Bulldogs closed with a 25-7 run, including nine points by Perkins, for a 37-23 lead at the break.
Mathews had eight quick points in the opening minutes of the second half as Gonzaga increased its advantage to 51-31.
''There's a lot of guys on this team that can do a lot of things,'' said Perkins, who also had eight assists. ''A lot of guys stepped up.''
Few said the Zags were battered after an 85-75 win at BYU on Thursday.
''It was good for our depth to stand up and show,'' Few said after the Bulldogs had five players score in double figures.
Santa Clara: The Broncos have not beaten Gonzaga since 2011. They came in having won five of their past seven games.
Gonzaga: The Zags average 85 points per game, while holding opponents to 36.9 percent shooting.
MAY I ASSIST?
Gonzaga had 20 assists in the game, compared to nine for the Broncos.
Santa Clara plays at San Francisco on Thursday.
Gonzaga plays at Loyola Marymount on Thursday. They play at archrival No. 18 Saint Mary's next Saturday.
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03/18/2017 - Updated: NCAA Tournament West Regional Ticket Info
03/18/2017 - Gonzaga defeats Northwestern in second round, 79-73
03/17/2017 - MBB and Northwestern Faceoff in Second Round
03/16/2017 - Mathews Helps MBB Top South Dakota State 66-46
03/16/2017 - Few Named Naismith Coach of the Year Finalist
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