Strawther has 40, No. 14 Gonzaga beats Portland 82-67

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Julian Strawther had a career-high 40 points, including eight 3-pointers, and No. 14 Gonzaga retired in the streak for an 82-67 victory over Portland on Saturday.

Anton Watson added 17 points for Gonzaga (18-4, 7-1 West Coast Conference). It was the Bulldogs’ 16th straight win over the Pilots, including a 115-75 win on Jan. 14 at Spokane.

Strawther is the first player to reach 40 points for the Zags since Kyle Wiltjer had 45 against Pacific in 2016.

Portland (11-13, 3-5) was led by Moses Wood with 19 points. Drivers were resilient, cutting the margin to 56-54 after Juan Sebastian Gorosito hit a pair of 3-pointers. But Strawther responded with a 3 to hold off the pilots with 8:28 to go. Gorosito, a freshman, finished with a career-high 17 points.

Strawther’s 3-pointer with 5:23 left gave the Zags a 69-59 lead as they pulled away. The Bulldogs led up to 16 down the stretch.

The Bulldogs were coming off a 99-90 victory last Saturday at Pacific led by Drew Timme, who had 38 points, including 24 in the second half. The rebound win came after Gonzaga lost 68-67 to unranked Loyola Marymount, snapping a 75-game winning streak at home.

“I think we still have a bad taste in LMU’s mouth. So I think we kind of learned from that game that you can’t take anyone lightly,” Gonzaga goalkeeper Malachi Smith said. “(Portland) is on the road, it was the middle of the day, you know, and we had a little week off. So I think we went out like we hadn’t played in a while, but the intensity was there.”

The Pilots lost 79-60 to Loyola Marymount on Thursday.

Strawther’s 3-pointer gave Gonzaga a 17-10 lead going into the game. But Moses Wood made a lay-up and a 3 to pull the pilots to 24-21.

Strawther’s 3 ended a five-minute drought for the Zags to make it 27-21. Portland fans were on their feet when Gorosito hit a 3 that again closed the gap, 29-27, with 3:53 to go in the first half.

Portland never came close and Gonzaga led 35-29 at halftime led by Strawther, who had 17 points, including five 3-pointers to tie his career high set earlier this season.

Wood, the Pilots’ leading scorer, pulled Portland 39-37 with 16:55 left in the game.

Gonzaga sits just below number 22 Saint Mary’s at the top of the WCC rankings. The two teams meet next Saturday.

“The beauty of it all is that we always play the No. 1 team twice. So we control it at the end of the day, so that’s always a positive,” Smith said.


Gonzaga: Mark Few is 42-2 against Portland as Bulldogs coach. … Gonzaga has won 55 of the team’s last 58 WCC games. … Timme continues to edge closer to Gonzaga’s career high of 2,196 points set by Frank Burgess in 1961. Timme has 1,992.

Portland: Portland’s last win in the series was an 82-73 win at Chiles Center on Jan. 9, 2014. … It’s the 173rd meeting between the two teams.


Gonzaga: hosts Santa Clara on Thursday night.

Portland: visit San Diego on Thursday evening.


AP College Basketball: and and

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