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Gonzaga holds off Pepperdine; San Diego State improves to 15-0

Pepperdine forward Kameron Edwards, left, and Gonzaga guard Admon Gilder battle for a rebound during the second half of a game Jan. 4, 2020, in Spokane, Wash.
Pepperdine forward Kameron Edwards, left, and Gonzaga guard Admon Gilder battle for a rebound during the second half Saturday in Spokane, Wash.
(Young Kwak / Associated Press)

Killie Tillie scored 20 points and blocked a potential tying shot in the closing seconds to help top-ranked Gonzaga beat Pepperdine 75-70 on Saturday night for its 32nd consecutive home win.

Filip Petrusev scored 16 points and Joel Ayayi had 12 for Gonzaga (16-1, 2-0 West Coast). The Bulldogs have the longest home winning streak in the country. They have won eight consecutive overall since losing to Michigan.

Colbey Ross scored 24 points for Pepperdine (7-9, 0-2). The Waves have has lost 38 straight games to Gonzaga since their last win in 2002.

This game was a nail-biter from the start.

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Pepperdine led 18-16 early in the first half, behind 11 points by Ross, when Gonzaga went on a 9-0 run to take a 25-18 lead. Gonzaga pushed the lead to 33-24.

But the Zags didn’t score for more than three minutes and Pepperdine outscored them 13-4 the rest of the way to tie the game at 37-37 at halftime. Ross led all scorers with 15 points in the first half and both teams committed nine turnovers.

Consecutive baskets by Petrusev, Corey Kispert and Tillie put Gonzaga up 48-42 early in the second.

Pepperdine went on a 9-0 run and Skylar Chavez hit a 3-pointer to put the Waves ahead 53-51.

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UCLA allows Washington State to rally and force overtime before giving up the first six points of the extra frame in a 79-71 loss.

Tillie made two baskets and two free throws to put Gonzaga up 57-54.

Ross scored to tie the game at 59-59. Gonzaga replied with a 10-2 run for a 69-61 lead.

But the Zags went cold and Ross hit a pair of free throws to bring Pepperdine within 71-68 with 1:27 left.

Each team scored and Ross launched a 3-pointer that would have tied the game, but Tillie blocked the shot with 5 seconds left.

No. 13 San Diego State 77, at Utah State 68: Malachi Flynn scored 22 points, Matt Mitchell added 19 and San Diego State beat Utah State to improve to 15-0. The Aztecs snapped the Aggies’ 15-game home winning streak and beat them for the 12th time in the last 14 games.

San Diego State (15-0, 4-0 Mountain West) has the longest winning streak in the country. Auburn is the only other undefeated Division I team. Sam Merrill scored 26 points and Neemias Queta added 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Aggies. Utah State (13-4, 2-2) lost back-to-back games for the first time since coach Craig Smith took over the program before the start of the 2018-19 season.

No. 4 Oregon 69, at Utah 64: Payton Pritchard scored 19 points for the Ducks, and Will Richardson and Chris Duarte each had 14. Pritchard drew most of the defensive attention as usual so Oregon (12-3, 1-1 Pac-12) ended up moving the ball to Shakur Juiston and Chandler Lawson, who each had a pair of layups to erase Utah’s late lead and clinch the game.

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Both Gach scored a career-high 24 points for the Utes (10-4, 1-1). Timmy Allen had 19 points and 11 rebounds.

at No. 25 Arizona 75, Arizona State 47: Zeke Nnaji had 17 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Wildcats open the Pac-12 season with an overpowering win. Arizona (11-3) had a size advantage inside and used it, outscoring Arizona State 50-18 in the paint.

Arizona State (9-5) generated almost no inside game against Arizona’s length and struggled to get anything to fall from anywhere. Remy Martin led the Sun Devils with 20 points.


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