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8:00 PM PT9:00 PM MT10:00 PM CT11:00 PM ET4:00 PM GMT12:00 PM 北京时间9:00 PM MST11:00 PM EST, Feb 28, 2019
Spanos Center, Stockton, California  Attendance: 4,644

No. 1 Gonzaga rolls into Pacific

Gonzaga, back at No. 1 in the polls after two more overpowering West Coast Conference wins last week, will try to close the final week of league play with a bang.

The Bulldogs' first game of their second stint at No. 1 this season takes place Thursday night in a conference matchup against Pacific in Stockton, Calif.

Gonzaga (27-2, 14-0 WCC) needs this win and one Saturday night at Saint Mary's to complete its first unbeaten run through the WCC since 2013. If the Bulldogs do that -- and win the conference tournament in Las Vegas -- they could also procure the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament.

The Bulldogs looked primed for a national championship run in their last game, overwhelming BYU 102-68 on Saturday night in Spokane, Wash. Three players scored at least 21 points, led by Zach Norvell's 25. Rui Hachimura scored 23 in what could have been his final home game.

The 6-foot 8 Japanese forward, who is expected to declare for the NBA Draft with a year of eligibility left, leads the nation's highest-scoring team in scoring at 20.5 points per game.

"I just love being here," Hachimura said. "I love my coaches. I appreciate everybody."

Hachimura is efficient, hitting 60.7 percent of his shots, and he isn't afraid to share the wealth with his talented teammates.

Brandon Clarke (16.5 points, 8.3 rebounds per game) and Norvell (16.1 points, 4.4 rebounds) would be No. 1 options on most teams.

Fifth-year senior point guard Josh Perkins, averaging 10.8 points and 6.9 assists per game, can't be ignored, either. He was named WCC Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday after averaging 15.5 points and eight assists in two games.

The Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring average (90.7 points per game), field goal percentage (53.2) and assist-turnover ratio (1.8) while ranking in the top five in blocked shots (5.5) and assists (18.6).

"They're doing a number on the rest of the conference this season," BYU coach Dave Rose said Saturday night.

Pacific (13-16, 3-11) took its turn last month under the Gonzaga steamroller. Despite effectively slowing the tempo and holding the Bulldogs to their lowest point total of the season, the Tigers still took a 67-36 beating in Spokane.

That's been a theme for Pacific in conference play. It just hasn't been able to score enough to win games. It has lost five in a row, including a 63-56 setback Saturday at home to Loyola Marymount, and has not cracked 60 points in the past four games.

Guard Roberto Gallinat, the team's leading scorer at 15.0 points per game, did more than his share against Loyola Marymount. Gallinat pumped in a season-high 31 points, hitting 10 of 18 shots from the field.

"We're getting off to slow starts and it's paralyzing us early," Tigers coach Damon Stoudamire said in the Stockton Record. "Our defense isn't bad, but when you don't score, it puts a lot of pressure on your defense."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 27, 2019

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