No. 4 Gonzaga Pulls Away From Pacific

T.J. Wallace (photo by Kyle Terada)
T.J. Wallace (photo by Kyle Terada)

Post-Game Press Conference Video

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Pacific men's basketball turned in a gritty first half, but No. 4 Gonzaga pulled away in the second half for a 82-50 win in the West Coast Conference quarterfinals Saturday. T.J. Wallace led Pacific with 21 points.

Ray Bowles added 14 points while Jack Williams chipped in seven points and five rebounds.

Pacific held Gonzaga to just 27 first half points and 39 percent shooting, but the Bulldogs hit 19—of-28 in the second half, 68 percent, outscoring the Tigers 55-25 after halftime.  

Jordan Matthews led Gonzaga with 22 points, while Nigel Williams-Goss scored 20. The Tigers held Przemek Karnowski to nine points, but at the cost of the post players racking up fouls early. Gonzaga outscored Pacific 21-to-10 from the free throw line.  Gonzaga held a 42-26 rebounding edge and a 32-14 advantage in points in the paint.

Gonzaga opened the game with back-to-back buckets before Bowles drove and hit a floater. Nigel Williams-Goss came back with a three-pointer as Gonzaga led 7-3 three minutes in. Pacific held Gonzaga to a 1-for-11 shooting stretch and after Wallace scored on a floater in the paint, Williams tied the game at 7-7 on a jumper. Wallace finished a reverse lay-up in transition as the Tigers. Gonzaga took a 12-9 lead from the free throw line before Williams finished over Karnowski to bring the Tigers within one, 13-12 and Wallace drained a three to tie the game at 15-15. Gonzaga scored four-straight from the free throw line before Williams answered with a triple. Bowles' drove and finished for a 23-22 lead with 3:08 to go in the first. But Williams-Goss converted a three-point play and then scored in transition for a 27-23 Gonzaga lead. Sami Elaraky scored over Karnowski, and the Tigers pulled within two at halftime, 27-25.

The Tigers forced nine Gonzaga turnovers leading to seven points, but Gonzaga hit 8-of-11 from the free throw line to the Tigers' 2-of-4 to enable the Bulldogs' halftime lead.

Wallace & Williams-Goss each scored 10 in the first half. With the Tigers' post players picking up two fouls each early, Gonzaga posted a 22-13 rebounding edge through 20 minutes.

In the second, Gonzaga opened with an 8-0 run before Bowles answered inside. Pacific opened 1-for-8 from the field amid a fight in the paint, and a three from Mathews stretched Gonzaga's run to 14-2 for a 41-27 lead. Wallace hit a fade-away jumper, but Williams-Goss answered back. Gonzaga hit 7-of-9 to open the second half, and added 8-of-8 from the free throw line as the 22-7 run over the first eight minutes of the second half but the Bulldogs in control.

Bowles and Wallace added jumpers, to close within 52-38, but Matthews hit a three from the corner. Townes got on the board with a hook over Karnowski, and Bowles added an and-one. But Matthews struck again from deep to restore a 16-point lead. A three from Matthews with 5:55 to go put Gonzaga up 21, an the Bulldogs salted the game away to improve to 30-1 on the year and advance to the WCC semifinals on Monday.

Pacific wraps the 2016-17 campaign at 11-22 overall.

Wallace finishes his career at Pacific 13th on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,240 points, eighth in made three-pointers with 127, and fifth in steals with 103.