If No. 3 Gonzaga is not the top-ranked team Monday, the Bulldogs are at least playing like they are worthy after matching a school record with their 22nd consecutive victory in a 96-49 triumph over Pepperdine on Saturday in Malibu, Calif.
Gonzaga (22-0, 10-0 West Coast Conference) is in position to become the No. 1 team in the nation with top-ranked Villanova and No. 2 Kansas losing earlier in the week. The 22-game win streak ties the school record set by the 2014-15 team and is the longest in the nation.
"To go out to win 22 games in a row is crazy especially with the target we have on our back," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "If (becoming No. 1) comes Monday, that's awesome and fine, but if it doesn't, it will not get us down or be disappointing."
Gonzaga was too much from the start for Pepperdine (6-16, 2-8) behind a 58.6 percent shooting performance from the field, which translated into the Bulldogs outscoring the Waves in the paint 62-26.
They had a high shooting performance despite making 5 of 21 shots from 3-point range. They were 36 of 49 from inside the 3-point arc.
"They can beat you in so many ways," said Pepperdine coach Marty Wilson, whose team lost at Gonzaga 92-62 on Dec. 29. "I don't see any weaknesses. They can shoot and defend as well as anyone."
Przemek Karnowski scored 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting to lead the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga reserves Zach Collins and Silas Melson combined for 29 points making 10 of their 11 shots from the field. Melson made all three of his 3-point attempts and had 15 points. Collins made all five of his field goal attempts.
Nigel Williams-Goss contributed 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs finished with 21 assists and nine turnovers.
His assist total topped Pepperdine, which finished with six. Guard Jeremy Majors is the Waves' career leader in assists but was held without one while committing three turnovers.
"The guys have answered every call all year especially in the last 10 days, and we're proud of them," said Few, referring to the Bulldogs playing five games in 10 days, including three on the road. "They've done it on the road and did it with their defense."
Pepperdine was led by Major's 13 points. Lamond Murray Jr., the Waves' leading scorer, finished almost nine points below his average with 12 on 5-of-14 shooting from the field.
Chris Reyes added 11 points for Pepperdine, which shot 30.2 percent from the field was 1-for-12 from 3-point range.
Gonzaga never trailed, building a 27-10 lead with 9:49 left in the first half after making nine straight field goals.
The Bulldogs' frontcourt duo of Karnowski and Collins combined for 22 points in the first half on 9-of-11 shooting from the field as the Bulldogs led 43-21 at halftime.
Gonzaga played 11 straight halves without trailing their opponent. The Bulldogs have not trailed in the last 224 minutes, 31 seconds.
-- Gonzaga's 47-point win is its largest victory in conference play since Jan. 13, 2001, when it beat Saint Mary's by 54.
-- Gonzaga C Przemek Karnowski made 29 of his 36 shots from the field in the second half of the previous nine games before Saturday's game.
-- Pepperdine senior G Jeremy Major was honored during a pregame ceremony after he became the program's career leader in assists last week. He had 457 assists before playing Gonzaga.
-- Gonzaga G Nigel Williams-Goss led the WCC and was 52nd in the nation, shooting 86.5 percent from the free-throw line before Saturday's game. He made 64 of his first 74 free-throw attempts this season.
-- Pepperdine players missed a combined 64 games this season because of injury or illness before facing Gonzaga. Last season, the Waves lost three shooting guards to season-ending injuries.
-- Gonzaga reserve F Killian Tillie missed his second consecutive game with an ankle sprain.