SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)Rasir Bolton scored 23 points and had six assists, and Drew Timme added 21 points to lead No. 16 Gonzaga past San Francisco 99-81 on Thursday night.
Gonzaga (20-5, 9-2 West Coast) extended its streak of seasons with at least 20 wins to 26, bouncing back from last weekend’s overtime loss at No. 15 Saint Mary’s. The streak is the second longest in the country behind Kansas at 32.
Khalil Shabazz led San Francisco with 25 points and Tyrell Roberts added 16. The Dons (15-12, 4-8) never led and dropped their third straight game and have lost 26 straight to Gonzaga. Their last win over Gonzaga came in February 2012.
Gonzaga pulled out a two-point road win against the Dons earlier this season, thanks to Bolton’s tip-in basket in the closing seconds. The Zags didn’t need the same crunch-time heroics against San Francisco this time.
”I knew I had a big game down there last time,” Bolton said, ”so I came out a little more aggressive and it worked out for me.”
Gonzaga sprinted to a 10-point lead as four fouls in the first 54 seconds derailed the Dons. Gonzaga converted 15 San Francisco turnovers into 25 points and shot 79% from the free throw line on 29 attempts to build and sustain its lead.
”This team does a good job of just taking what they give us,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. ”I think the best thing we did tonight, especially in the first half, was take care of the ball – especially in lieu of where we were at earlier in the year.”
Timme continued his rise up the all-time statistical leaderboards, becoming the conference’s 10th-leading career scorer. He also took sole possession of first place on Gonzaga’s career made field goals list. Timme also grabbed his 800th career rebound, the sixth Gonzaga player to accomplish the feat.
”I thought we kind of got stunned with how the game started and didn’t come out with enough urgency, intensity or intent on the defensive side of the ball,” San Francisco coach Chris Gerlufsen said. ”Unfortunately, you do stuff like that here, it’s a hard place to respond and rebound from.”
Dan Dickau became the fifth Gonzaga player to have his number retired as his No. 21 was unveiled in front of a sellout crowd. Dickau played two seasons at Gonzaga from 2000-02 and was the program’s first first-team All-America selection and led the Bulldogs to a record 29-win season and No. 6 national ranking in 2002.
”At the end of the day, it comes down to certain people that I have to acknowledge for having a huge part of the little bit of success that I have had being a part of this program,” Dickau said. ”It’s teammates, it’s coaches and it’s special people around the program.”
Gonzaga: The Zags are two games behind Saint Mary’s in the WCC standings with five conference games remaining, including one at home against the Gaels. Saint Mary’s was the last WCC school not named Gonzaga to win an outright regular-season conference championship in 2012.
San Francisco: After a three-game win streak, the Dons have lost three straight and are tied for second to last in the WCC with four regular-season games remaining. San Francisco has lost 25 straight to Gonzaga and hasn’t won in Spokane since 1989.
San Francisco: Home vs. Pepperdine.
Gonzaga: Home against BYU.
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