GONZAGA

Ike scores 26 to lead No. 23 Gonzaga past San Francisco 86-68

Feb 29, 2024, 10:52 PM

Gonzaga Graham Ike...

Graham Ike puts up a shot for Gonzaga against San Francisco on Feb. 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Graham Ike scored 26 points and No. 23 Gonzaga clinched a bye into the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament by beating San Francisco 86-68 on Thursday night.

Gonzaga Bulldogs 86, San Francisco Dons 68: Box score

The Bulldogs (23-6, 13-2) won their 29th straight game against the Dons (22-8, 11-4) to wrap up the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament behind No. 17 Saint Mary’s. The top two teams get byes to the semifinals meaning Gonzaga will need to win only two games in Las Vegas to win the conference tournament and earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Gonzaga pulled away early in the second half, scoring the first 13 points to build a 14-point lead. Ike capped the run with back-to-back baskets from in close to make it 48-34 and the Bulldogs were never threatened the rest of the way.

Nolan Hickman scored 22 points and Ryan Nembhard added 15 to help Gonzaga win its seventh straight game.

Malik Thomas scored 23 points and Jonathan Mogbo added 14 for San Francisco.

The Dons moved their home game from campus to the Chase Center, where the NBA’s Golden State Warriors play, to get a bigger crowd even if it lacked the same home-court edge.

They started strong on the big stage and led almost the entire first half before Anton Watson gave Gonzaga its first lead with a basket with 4 seconds left in the half to make it 35-34.

BIG PICTURE

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs earned their second Quad 1 win of the season after winning at Kentucky earlier in February to bolster their NCAA Tournament hopes. Gonzaga’s 25 straight tournament bids are the third longest active streak but they are firmly on the bubble this season.

San Francisco: The Dons have had a strong season and clinched third place in the WCC but there is still a gap between them and the top two teams. San Francisco lost all four meetings to Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s but is undefeated against the rest of the conference.

UP NEXT

Gonzaga: Visit No. 17 Saint Mary’s on Saturday night.

San Francisco: Visit Santa Clara on Saturday.

No. 19 WSU rallies from 12 points down to top USC 75-72

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Ike scores 26 to lead No. 23 Gonzaga past San Francisco 86-68