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No. 12 Gonzaga powers to easy win over Santa Clara

Anton Watson scored 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting as No. 12 Gonzaga rebounded from its first home loss since 2018, defeating Santa Clara 88-70 Thursday night in a West Coast Conference game in Spokane, Wash.

Gonzaga’s Drew Timme scored 15 to reach the 2,000-point plateau in his collegiate career. Timme also had game-high totals of 11 rebounds and five assists.

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Guards Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther added 16 and 12 points, respectively, for the Bulldogs (19-4, 8-1 WCC), who had a 75-game winning streak at McCarthey Athletic Center snapped with a 68-67 defeat against Loyola Marymount on Jan. 19.

Gonzaga shot 59.3 percent (35 of 59) on Thursday.

Carlos Stewart led Santa Clara (16-8, 4-5) with 22 points. Brandin Podziemski, who scored a career-high 38 in a 95-89 loss Saturday against Pacific, had 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting. Keshawn Justice added 12 points, and Christoph Tilly had 11.

It was the 100th meeting between the Zags and Broncos. Gonzaga leads the series 70-30, having won 49 of the past 51 and 26 in a row.

After Stewart opened the game with a 3-pointer, the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good. Watson got the first basket with a layup and capped the run with an alley-oop dunk.

The Broncos never got closer than three points the rest of the way.

Ben Gregg gave the Zags a double-digit lead on a putback, then made a 3-pointer from the top of the key to extend the advantage to 28-14 midway through the half.

Watson’s dunk off a steal with 26 seconds left before the intermission gave Gonzaga a 43-24 lead.

Stewart scored 13 points for the Broncos in the first half, while Watson led the Zags with 11 and Bolton added 10.

Santa Clara never got closer than 14 points in the second half.

–Field Level Media

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