SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss was held to four points in his previous game, and wanted to start strong against San Diego on Thursday night. "I wanted to come out aggressive," Williams-Goss said, after scoring 13 points in the first 8 minutes and 25 overall as No. 3 Gonzaga routed San Diego 79-43, clearing one obstacle to a possible No. 1 ranking next week.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss was held to four points in his previous game, and wanted to start strong against San Diego on Thursday night.
"I wanted to come out aggressive," Williams-Goss said, after scoring 13 points in the first 8 minutes and 25 overall as No. 3 Gonzaga routed San Diego 79-43, clearing one obstacle to a possible No. 1 ranking next week.
Johnathan Williams added 13 points and 12 rebounds for Gonzaga (21-0, 9-0 West Coast), which has the nation's longest winning streak at 21 games. The Zags are the nation's last remaining undefeated Division I team.
If Gonzaga can win at Pepperdine on Saturday, the Zags have a good chance of claiming the top spot in the next Top 25 as No. 1 Villanova and No. 2 Kansas lost this week.
Williams-Goss said the Zags were trying to tune out all the buzz about a No. 1 ranking, even as their fans broke into a chant of "Number one! Number one!" as the clock wound down.
"Our end goal is in March to play our best basketball," he said. "We have to get better each week."
They were plenty good against San Diego, holding the Toreros to 32 percent shooting and hounding them into 15 turnovers while committing only five.
"Outstanding defense," Zags coach Mark Few said. "Just outstanding.
"It's not an anomaly," Few said of a defense that is limiting conference opponents to 60 points per game. "We have been pretty good here."
Olin Carter III scored 12 points for San Diego (10-11, 3-6), which has lost five straight to Gonzaga. Frank Ryder added 10 points as the Toreros tied their season low in scoring.
Gonzaga shot 53 percent from the field, with Williams-Goss making 11 of 15 shots and adding five assists and five rebounds.
"He was just really solid on the ball screen all night," Few said. "He has a really high level (of) understanding."
Gonzaga made 10 of its first 13 shots to take a 21-10 lead just 8 minutes into the game. Williams-Goss had 13 of those points, while Carter scored all 10 of San Diego's.
San Diego committed seven early turnovers and was scoreless for 5 minutes as the Zags built a 25-10 lead.
Gonzaga led 37-23 at halftime behind 19 points from Williams-Goss.
San Diego fell apart in the second half, making just one of its first 13 field goal attempts. Gonzaga opened the second half with a 23-2 run to build a 60-25 lead.
San Diego: Leading scorer Brett Bailey, who averages 17.4 points, had just five points. The Toreros had a five-game winning streak earlier this season, but came in having lost five of their past eight games.
Gonzaga: Gonzaga was ranked No. 1 for the first and only time in the closing weeks of the 2013 season. This is the best start in program history, and their 20th straight 20-win season. The Zags have not trailed in their past four games.
Gonzaga outscored the Toreros in the paint 50-16, and outrebounded them 38-30. The Zags dished out 19 assists, to five for San Diego.
Gonzaga is in the midst of four games in eight days and had only one day to prepare for San Diego, which Few called a "complicated offense."
"We haven't taken a night off," Few said. "That stands out."
San Diego plays at Portland on Saturday.
Gonzaga plays at Pepperdine on Saturday, and a victory would tie the longest winning streak in school history.
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