Sam Dower was perfect from the field and scored 18 points as Gonzaga bounced back from having its 22-game conference win streak snapped by routing Pepperdine in a first-place showdown, 70-53.
Dower converted all seven of his field goal attempts and was 4 of 5 from the line with eight rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (15-3, 5-1 West Coast). Kevin Pangos finished with 14 points for Gonzaga.
Pepperdine took a 10-5 lead on Amadi Udenui’s 3 early in the first half, but Kyle Dranginis gave the Zags the lead for good with a layup with 9:36 left to make it 20-18 and sparking a 21-3 run.
Stacy Davis was the lone player to score in double figures (12) for Pepperdine (11-8, 4-3).
Gonzaga now has won 25 straight against the Waves and lead the all-time series 45-31. The last time Pepperdine beat Gonzaga was January 18, 2002.
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Elliott Eliason had 12 points and 13 rebounds to help Minnesota (14-4, 3-2 Big Ten) muscle past 11th-ranked Ohio State (15-3, 2-3) for a 63-53 victory that stuck the Buckeyes with their third consecutive loss. DeAndre Mathieu had 13 points, five assists and three steals for the Golden Gophers, who gave new coach Richard Pitino his first signature win. … Memphis (12-4, 3-2) is discovering that life in the American Athletic Conference is a bit different than the old days when it dominated Conference USA. The 17th-ranked Tigers couldn’t keep pace with Connecticut (14-3, 2-2 American Athletic Conference) down the stretch and dropped their second consecutive home game, losing to the Huskies, 83-73. The defeat, coupled with a 69-53 home loss to Cincinnati on Jan. 4, marked the first time since 1979 that the Tigers lost consecutive home games by double digits. … Houston (10-7, 2-2 American Athletic Conference) got blown out early and ended up with its most lopsided loss since 2004. Wayne Blackshear scored a career-high 23 points in his first game this season as a reserve, and No. 18 Louisville (15-3, 4-1) used a strong offensive start to rout the Cougars, 91-52. It was Houston’s largest defeat since a 110-63 loss at No. 12 Washington on Dec. 24, 2004, according to STATS.