Strawther's 40 points leads No. 14 Gonzaga past Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Julian Strawther had a career-high 40 points, including eight 3-pointers, and No. 14 Gonzaga pulled away down the stretch 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 consecutive victory over the Pilots, including a 115-75 win on Jan. 14 in 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. The Pilots were resilient, cutting the margin to 56-54 after Juan Sebastian Gorosito hit a pair of 3-pointers. But Strawther answered with a 3 to keep the Pilots at bay 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 by as many as 16 down the stretch.
The Bulldogs were coming off a 99-90 victory at Pacific led by Drew Timme, who had 38 points, including 24 in the second half. The rebound victory came after Gonzaga lost 68-67 to unranked Loyola Marymount, snapping a 75-game winning streak at home.
The Pilots lost 79-60 to Loyola Marymount on Thursday.
Strawther's 3-pointer gave Gonzaga a 17-10 lead to start the game. But Moses Wood made a layup and a 3 to pull the Pilots within 24-21.
Strawther's 3 snapped a five-minute scoring drought for the Zags to make it 27-21. Portland fans were on their feet when Gorosito hit a 3 that closed the gap again, 29-27, with 3:53 left in the first half.
Portland never got closer and Gonzaga led 35-29 at halftime led by Strawther, who had 17 points, including five 3-pointers to match his career high set earlier this season.
Wood, the Pilots' leading scorer, pulled Portland within 39-37 with 16:55 left in the game.
Gonzaga: Mark Few is 42-2 against Portland as coach of the Bulldogs. ... Gonzaga has won 55 of the team's last 58 WCC games. ... Timme continues to close in on Gonzaga's all-time career scoring record of 2,196 points set by Frank Burgess in 1961. Timme has 1,992.
Portland: The last Portland win in the series was an 82-73 victory at the Chiles Center on Jan. 9, 2014. ... It is the 173rd meeting between the two teams.
Gonzaga: Hosts Santa Clara on Thursday night.
Portland: Visits San Diego on Thursday night.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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