Williams leads No. 9 Gonzaga over Loyola Marymount 76-46
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Corey Kispert led a balanced attack with 14 points and No. 9 Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount 76-46 on Thursday night to retain at least a share of first place in the West Coast Conference.
Gonzaga scored the first 17 points and easily beat Loyola Marymount for the 18th straight time since 2010.
Johnathan Williams had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Killian Tillie scored 12 points for Gonzaga (24-4, 14-1), which has won eight games in a row.
Eli Scott scored 16 points for Loyola Marymount (8-18, 3-12), which is second from the bottom of the league.
The Lions shot 33 percent and committed 18 turnovers. Five Gonzaga players scored in double figures.
Gonzaga put the Lions in a hole early, forcing Loyola Marymount into five turnovers during its opening burst. Scott scored the Lions’ first basket with 14:28 left in the first.
The Zags went on a 12-0 run, highlighted by Zach Norvell Jr.'s steal and dunk, for a 31-7 lead with 5:33 left in the first. The Lions had just three field goals at that point and had missed 10 consecutive shots.
Gonzaga led 39-20 at halftime, after shooting 52 percent and forcing the Lions into 10 turnovers. Loyola Marymount shot just 29 percent (8 of 28) in the first.
Gonzaga’s shooting cooled off early in the second half, but it still led 54-34 with 12 minutes left in the game.
Tillie scored five points during a 15-0 run that put Gonzaga up 72-39.
Loyola Marymount: The Lions rank first in the league in forcing 13.9 turnovers per game, but that is not translating into wins. The Lions also average 12.8 offensive rebounds per game.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs came in tied with No. 15 Saint Mary’s for first in the WCC. Six Bulldogs average at least 10 points per game, and they average a program-record 85.7 points per game. No. 3 Villanova is the only other team that has six players averaging double figures.
Loyola Marymount plays at San Francisco on Saturday.
Gonzaga hosts last-place Pepperdine on Saturday.