STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — Kyle Wiltjer scored 45 points for Gonzaga’s highest-scoring game in 54 years and the third-ranked Bulldogs tied a school record with their 20th straight win, 86-74 over Pacific on Thursday night.
Gary Bell Jr. added 12 points as the Bulldogs (27-1, 15-0 West Coast Conference) used another strong shooting night to roll to a victory. Gonzaga, which leads the nation in shooting at 52.7 percent, made 60 percent of its shots, keyed by a 15-for-22 night by Wiltjer.
T.J Wallace scored 19 points, David Taylor added 18 and Ray Bowles had 13 for the Tigers (10-17, 2-13), who have lost eight straight games.
The Bulldogs struggled to pull away from the last-place Tigers after opening up a double-digit lead midway through the first half. Taylor hit three of his five 3-pointers early in the second half and Pacific got the deficit down to seven with just under 7 minutes left.
But Wiltjer hit a 3-pointer and a pair of layups to build the lead back to 11 as the Bulldogs cruised to maintain their perfect conference record.
Wiltjer scored 18 of Gonzaga’s 22 points during a 12-minute stretch in the second half. He hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to give him 45 points, the most by a Bulldogs player since Frank Burgess scored a school-record 52 on Jan. 26, 1961.
Wiltjer got started early, scoring nine points in the first 5 minutes, including seven straight during a 10-0 run that gave Gonzaga a 17-9 lead.
The Tigers managed to keep the deficit manageable by hitting six 3-pointers in the first half. But Wiltjer did not cool off a bit and his 3-pointer late in the half gave him 22 points and made it 45-35.