Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) shoots while pressured by Pepperdine forward Kene Chukwuka (24) during the first half of a game Jan. 14, 2021, in Spokane. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) shoots while pressured by Pepperdine forward Kene Chukwuka (24) during the first half of a game Jan. 14, 2021, in Spokane. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

No. 1 Gonzaga overcomes poor 1st half, rolls past Pepperdine

The Bulldogs were up just four at halftime, but cruise down the stretch to win 95-70.

Associated Press

SPOKANE — Edmonds native Corey Kispert had 23 points and eight rebounds as top-ranked and undefeated Gonzaga beat Pepperdine 95-70 on Thursday for its 17th consecutive victory over the last two seasons.

Drew Timme scored 20, Joel Ayayi 19 and Jalen Suggs 18 for Gonzaga (13-0, 4-0 West Coast), which has defeated Pepperdine in 40 straight games dating to 2002. That includes 23 straight wins in Spokane.

Gonzaga has also won 46 straight home games, the longest streak in the nation.

Kessler Edwards scored 14 for Pepperdine (4-6, 0-1), which was playing its first game since Dec. 23 because of COVID-19 protocols.

Pepperdine hounded Gonzaga into 36% shooting in the first 12 minutes of the game and trailed just 23-21.

Sedrick Altman’s basket gave the Waves a 26-25 lead, but Jalen Suggs completed a three-point play to ignite a 16-4 run that put Gonzaga up 41-30.

Edwards replied with consecutive 3-pointers and Darryl Polk added a 3-pointer at the buzzer as Pepperdine cut Gonzaga’s lead to 43-39 at halftime.

Ayayi had 14 points and four steals at the half for Gonzaga.

Gonzaga went on a 15-4 run midway through the second to take a 65-48 lead with 11 minutes left. The Waves made only 4 of 17 shots to open the second half and could not close the gap.

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