No. 4 Gonzaga remains unbeaten, routs Santa Clara

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[January 20, 2017]  Przemek Karnowski led No. 4 Gonzaga with 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field in the Bulldogs' 88-57 victory over host Santa Clara in a West Coast Conference game Thursday night.

Gonzaga, the only remaining unbeaten team in the nation, improved to 18-0 overall, 6-0 in the WCC. Santa Clara fell to 10-10 and 4-3.

The Bulldogs shot 51.7 percent from the field and were only 6 of 19 from 3-point range. Gonzaga dominated Santa Clara in the paint, outscoring the Broncos 47-16 as the Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 42-23.

"It was a great team effort overall in a tough atmosphere," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said referring to the sellout crowd of 4,738 at Santa Clara's Leavey Center. "This was our first real road test with students back. I'm proud of how our guys played through that for the whole 40 minutes."

Nigel Williams-Goss had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Johnathan Williams contributed 13 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs. Zach Collins also had 16 points and five rebounds.

Santa Clara, which shot 36.5 percent from the field, was led by Jared Brownridge's 23 points. The only other double-figure scorer was K.J. Feagin with 13 points. No other Bronco scored more than five points.

"It was difficult for anybody to match Gonzaga's balance and depth," Santa Clara coach Herb Sendek said. "They can beat you in so many ways."

Gonzaga, which never trailed, led by as many as 20 points in the first half before leading 38-22 at halftime.

The Bulldogs outrebounded Santa Clara 22-13 in the first half and showed their balance with none of their players scoring at least 10 points. Six players had at least five points in the period.

"I thought the way we came out focused for the most part in the first half set the tone," Few said. "Whenever you go on the road, it can be a struggle. We were confident from the start."

Gonzaga had a season-low six turnovers in the game while compiling 16 assists. Four of the six turnovers were by post players Karnowski and Collins. Gonzaga's trio of guards -- Williams-Goss, Josh Perkins and Silas Melson -- combined for 10 assists and only two turnovers.

Brownridge had 13 first-half points to lead the Broncos, who shot 33.3 percent from the field and 30.8 from 3-point range.

A 9-1 run by Santa Clara, highlighted by two baskets from Brownridge including a 3, cut Gonzaga's lead to 52-41 with 13:07 left in regulation.

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Fans hold up signs before the game between the Santa Clara Broncos and the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Leavey Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulldogs responded with an 11-1 run with six points from Karnowski to increase the lead to 63-42 with 9:23 left.

They went on a 21-4 run overall after the lead was down to 11 points. The game-clinching spurt was similar to Gonzaga's runaway late against Saint Mary's in its previous game.

"We did a good job of chasing (Santa Clara's) 3-point shooters," Few said. "They did not make a lot of threes other than Brownridge. We did a good job overall of contesting shots."

Brownridge made 6 of 12 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. The rest of the Broncos were 3 of 13.

Gonzaga tries to add to their unbeaten streak Saturday against Portland in Spokane, Wash. Santa Clara hosts Loyola Marymount on Saturday.

NOTES: Santa Clara G Jared Brownridge, the second-leading scorer in school history (2,079), is eighth on the WCC all-time scoring list. He has 11 career 30-point games. ... Gonzaga's 18-game winning streak is the longest in the nation. The streak is also the fourth-longest in program history, two games behind runs in 2005-06 and 2003-04. The 2014-15 Bulldogs won a program-record 22 straight games. ... G Jared Brownridge and F Nate Kratch are the only Santa Clara players to start all 20 games. ... Gonzaga C Przemek Karnowski and F Johnathan Williams were a combined 67.1 field goal percentage (49 for 73) through the first five WCC games. ... Santa Clara had the best turnover margin in the WCC (plus-2.4 per game) and the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4-to-1) entering Thursday's game.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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