No. 5 Gonzaga Bulldogs roll past San Francisco Dons

By The Sports Xchange
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few on the sidelines as his team scored a 95-80 victory over host San Francisco in West Coast Conference play. File Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few on the sidelines as his team scored a 95-80 victory over host San Francisco in West Coast Conference play. File Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI | License Photo

Nigel Williams-Goss felt poorly over the past week as he struggled with a nasty case of stomach flu.

Thursday was his turn to make others feel sick.


The junior point guard looked more than recovered as he posted career highs of 36 points and 11 rebounds and also contributed six assists to lead No. 5 Gonzaga to a 95-80 victory over host San Francisco in West Coast Conference play.

Williams-Goss connected on 12 of 15 shots from the field and made three 3-pointers to help the Bulldogs stretch the nation's longest winning streak to 15 games.

"The last game being sick, for myself I wanted to kind of pick it up a little bit," Williams-Goss said afterward, "and just come out with a full focus and energy."

Senior guard Jordan Mathews added 16 points for Gonzaga (15-0, 3-0), which shot 61.0 percent from the field. Freshman forward Killian Tillie scored 12 points on 6 of 7 shooting and senior center Przemek Karnowski tallied 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting.


Freshman guard Jordan Ratinho scored a season-best 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting for the Dons (11-5, 1-2). Senior guard Ronnie Boyce and sophomore forward Nate Renfro added 13 points apiece.

San Francisco had no answers when it came to defending Williams-Goss, who reached 30 points for the fourth time in his career.

He penetrated at will and got himself open for uncontested jumpers. When he was fouled, he was perfect by hitting all nine of his free-throw attempts.

Williams-Goss had three 30-point outings when he played for Washington -- his previous career high of 32 came during his 2013-14 freshman campaign -- before transferring to Gonzaga after his sophomore season.

"In the midst of a special year, tonight was a special game," Williams-Goss wrote on his Twitter feed. "I've learned to really appreciate nights like these."

Bulldogs coach Mark Few was mightily impressed with the performance, particularly while recalling how sick Williams-Goss was as recently as Monday.

"He had the flu really, really bad, as bad probably as we've had that I can remember," Few said. "He even had to take Monday off because he was so dehydrated. He came to practice Tuesday, Wednesday and obviously he was phenomenal tonight -- phenomenal in a lot of ways."


Dons coach Kyle Smith felt like it was one of those nights when one opposing player was impossible to stop.

"We tried to do something to stop what they do offensively and they really exposed us," Smith said.

The Bulldogs led by 10 points at halftime and Williams-Goss set the second-half tone by hitting a jumper 11 seconds into the half. He later made a 3-pointer to push Gonzaga's lead to 67-50 with10:48 to play.

San Francisco crept within 13 on a 3-pointer by Boyce with 10:04 to play before Gonzaga again increased its cushion.

Williams-Goss hit a jumper to push the lead to 20 points for the first time and added two free throws to make it 85-63 with 5:56 to play. He departed with 2:03 remaining and the Bulldogs ahead by 21 points.

Gonzaga outrebounded the Dons 39-23 and limited San Francisco to 24.1 percent shooting from 3-point range.

"I think we had some young guys who were kind of nervous," Smith said. "We didn't shoot well from 3. Honestly, I thought we had some pretty good looks."

Williams-Goss contributed 15 points on 6 of 7 shooting from the floor and collected six rebounds as the Bulldogs held a 46-36 lead at the break.


Gonzaga shot 62.1 percent from the field and dominated most of the final 13 minutes of the half.

The score was tied at 13 after a basket by Boyce before the Bulldogs scored the next 11 points. Williams-Goss had five points during the burst and freshman power forward Zach Collins scored the final two to make it 24-13 with 9:59 to play.

A 3-pointer by Mathews gave Gonzaga a 39-21 lead with 5:14 to play before San Francisco made a move. Ratinho drained the Dons' first 3 of the half to cut the margin to 12 with 2:33 left, and he made another one in the final seconds to allow San Francisco to trail by 10.


-- Gonzaga senior SG Jordan Mathews is the son of Phil Mathews, who served as Dons coach from 1995 to 2004.

-- Thursday's game was the beginning of a tough three-game stretch for San Francisco -- back-to-back games against ranked teams in Gonzaga and Saint Mary's followed by a road game at Brigham Young.

-- The Bulldogs are 33-4 against San Francisco during Mark Few's 18-year tenure as coach.

-- The Dons entered the game making an average of 10.2 3-pointers per game and were 7-of-29 against Gonzaga.


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