No. 15 Gonzaga defeats Portland 95-79

AP

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Killian Tillie

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Killian Tillie had 27 points and seven rebounds, and No. 15 Gonzaga cruised to a 95-79 victory over Portland on Thursday night.

Corey Kispert added a season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (18-4, 8-1 West Coast Conference), who won their 20th straight conference road game.

It was Gonzaga’s 10th straight win over the Pilots (8-14, 2-7). The Bulldogs are 27-2 against Portland under coach Mark Few.

Freshman Marcus Shaver Jr. had 16 points for the Pilots (8-14, 2-7), who trailed by as many as 28 points in the second half.

Portland went into the game with a two-game winning streak after losing it first six conference games. The Pilots got road wins against San Diego and Loyola Marymount last week.

The Bulldogs stumbled last week, falling 74-71 at home against St. Mary’s, but rebounded from their lone conference loss with a 75-60 win at Santa Clara. Gonzaga fell two spots in the AP Top 25 as a result of the loss.

Gonzaga opened with a 3-pointer from Josh Perkins and built an early 12-3 lead while the young Pilots struggled, going 1 of 5 from the field. Tillie’s dunk stretched the Bulldogs’ lead to 36-16 with 4:04 left in the half.

The Zags, boosted by a crowd that appeared equally divided between Gonzaga and Portland fans, led 46-30 at the half. Tillie led all scorers 13 points, and his final total matched his season high.

Gonzaga stretched the lead to 22 points in the second half after Corey Kispert’s layup and free throw. Portland, with three freshmen starters, simply could not keep up. Pilots 7-foot-2 center Philipp Hartwich fouled out with just over six minutes to go.

The Zags won the first game of the series 103-57 in Spokane on Jan. 11. Silas Melson had 23 points including seven 3-pointers.

BIG PICTURE

Gonzaga: Melson has 80 points against Portland over his career. ... Gonzaga’s last visit to Portland was for the PK80 invitational. The Zags beat Ohio State before falling to then-No. 7 Florida in double-overtime, then beat Texas in OT over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Portland: The Pilots’ last victory over the Zags was in 2014, an 82-73 upset in Portland. ... Coach Terry Porter’s Pilots are young, with just two seniors on the roster.

UP NEXT

Gonzaga returns home to host San Francisco on Saturday.

It doesn’t get any easier for Portland, which visits No. 16 St. Mary’s this weekend.

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