Chet Holmgren had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 2 Gonzaga past San Diego 92-62 Thursday night for his 11th straight victory.
Drew Timme added 13 points and eight rebounds as six Bulldogs scored in double figures. Andrew Nembhard had 14 points and seven assists.
Gonzaga (18-2, 7-0 West Coast Conference) has won its last 25 league games in double figures — and averaging over 24 points.
“This team recognizes all of these different approaches,” Bulldogs coach Mark Few said. “That’s probably what excites me the most, just their ability to read and react.”
Jace Townsend scored 13 points off the bench for the Toreros.
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San Diego (13-10, 6-4), which entered third in the WCC standings, trailed for the first seven minutes before fading. The Toreros looked sharp early on and tied the game 12-all on a 3-pointer. But the Zags outscored them 26-12 the rest of the half to take a 38-24 lead at the break.
In the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Toreros could not close the deficit against the deeper Bulldogs. Every time the USD made a mini run, Gonzaga responded with a timely 3, quick break or slash slash in the lane to slow the USD’s momentum.
The 7-foot Holmgren buried a top 3 from the sidelines with 7:05 left to give Gonzaga a 75-50 advantage.
“He opened the game,” San Diego coach Sam Scholl said. “He’s just very, very skilful. He’s got a terrific feel. He’s physical. He’s not afraid to punch.”
The star freshman also had four blocks, and his size posed problems for the Toreros inside.
“He’s always present around the edge in defense. He does a good job of assessing what’s going on and adjusting his defense,” Few said. “I think after that they really had problems scoring against him.”
The Bulldogs shot 57% from the field against 35% for USD.
“We talked about how disciplined we were going to have to be not to fight. We had too many momentary breaks,” Scholl said. “They’re just a really talented passing team. They really do a great job of finding the open guy and delivering a strike so that guy can make a play.”
Gonzaga, unsurprisingly, had a huge advantage in points in the paint (48-22) and rebounds (45-21).
“Gonzaga challenges you and tests your mental discipline,” Scholl said. “When you face the best team in the country, you have to be as good and as disciplined.”
Gonzaga: Won 28 straight conference games and nine straight road games, the two longest active streaks of their kind in the nation. The Bulldogs have won 70 of their last 74 games overall.
San Diego: This was the 100th reunion between the schools. Gonzaga holds a 78-22 record, including 15 straight wins. The Toreros’ last victory over the Bulldogs was 69-66 in San Diego on February 22, 2014.
Gonzaga: Plays BYU on Saturday night.
San Diego: will host Santa Clara on Saturday afternoon.