Tillie helps No. 12 Gonzaga hold off Pacific, 71-61
STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — Killian Tillie had 21 points and 10 rebounds and made a key tip-in with 1:39 remaining, and No. 12 Gonzaga beat Pacific 71-61 on Thursday night.
Johnathan Williams added 10 points and 13 rebounds for his eighth double-double this season as the Bulldogs (22-4, 12-1 West Coast Conference) won their sixth straight. Zach Norvell and Rui Hachimura also scored 10 points while Josh Perkins had 12 on 2-of-11 shooting.
The win sets up Gonzaga for a chance at redemption against Saint Mary’s. The Gaels, who beat Loyola Marymount on Thursday night to remain unbeaten in the WCC, handed the Bulldogs their lone conference loss on Jan. 18 in Spokane.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few has tried to keep his players’ minds off the rematch. Now the clash between ranked teams will have conference title implications.
The Bulldogs put themselves in position by holding off a pesky but sloppy Pacific team. The Tigers (12-14, 7-6) were within 47-41 with 13½ minutes left but went scoreless over the next four minutes as they had trouble taking care of the ball.
Gonzaga took advantage and went on an 8-1 run, getting six of the points on free throws.
Pacific was within 59-51 following three free throws by Roberto Gallinat before Tillie tipped in Perkins’ miss to help Gonzaga hold on for its 12th consecutive win in the series.
Gallinat had 15 points, Miles Reynolds scored 13 and Jahlil Tripp added 12 for Pacific.
Perkins got off to a slow start offensively but repeatedly kicked the ball out to open shooters after driving the lane.
Tillie benefited the most from Perkins’ unselfishness. Gonzaga’s lone sophomore starter, Tillie had eight of the Bulldogs’ first 14 points and made five of his first six shots as they built a 24-15 lead.
Gonzaga: Perkins went 0-for-6 on 3-pointers, ending his career-high streak of 16 consecutive games with at least one 3. ... The Bulldogs scored 36 first-half points for the third consecutive game.
Pacific: The Tigers have seven wins all-time over ranked opponents, the most recent coming in the 2004 NCAA Tournament when they knocked off Providence. ... Pacific did a good job on the boards early but failed to score off four offensive rebounds in the first half. ... Lafayette Dorsey returned after being carried off the floor late in the first half. He was hurt while fouling Silas Melson following a midcourt turnover and stayed down for several minutes. He rode a stationary bicycle at the start of the second half before checking in with 17 minutes left and finishing with nine points.
Gonzaga: Visits No. 11 Saint Mary’s on Saturday night.
Pacific: Hosts Portland on Saturday.