Top-ranked Gonzaga won its 24th consecutive game to start the season despite missing injured starting guard Nigel Williams-Goss and rolled to a 90-55 victory over Santa Clara on Saturday night in Spokane, Wash.
Williams-Goss, Gonzaga's leading scorer at 15.6 points per game, did not play because of a sprained ankle he suffered at Brigham Young on Thursday.
"The guys stepped up without him out there," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "Not having Nigel out there is significant but our guys took care of what they needed to do."
The Bulldogs, 12-0 in the West Coast Conference, shot 60.8 percent from the field against the Broncos (13-12, 7-5). They also won the rebounding battle 39-18.
Josh Perkins played point guard in Williams-Goss' absence and had 15 points and eight assists.
"Josh really responded in that one-man-down, next-man-up scenario," Gonzaga assistant coach Donnie Daniels said. "He played great. He handled his responsibility very well."
Jordan Mathews scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and had five rebounds. Przemek Karnowski finished with 12 points, making 6 of 9 shots from the floor before fouling out with 5:31 left in regulation. Zach Collins added 14 points and eight rebounds for Gonzaga.
Santa Clara, which shot 38.8 percent from the field, was led by guard KJ Feagin's 18 points and Jared Brownridge's 13.
"You don't have a chance to play the No. 1 team in the nation very often," Santa Clara coach Herb Sendek said. "We were afforded that chance but we didn't play as well as we had to get a win."
The Broncos did not have scoring from their bench until Evan Wardlow made two free throws with 3:59 left. Gonzaga's reserves finished with 26 points.
Gonzaga's streak of 13 consecutive halves with a lead came to an end when Santa Clara took a 5-4 lead with 15:55 left in the first half. The Bulldogs led consecutively for 268:36 to that point.
Santa Clara's last lead was with 10:23 left in the first half, when Gonzaga guard Bryan Alberts hit a 3-pointer to put the Bulldogs up 17-16.
A 17-3 run put Gonzaga ahead 31-19 with 1:53 left in the first half. Santa Clara did not cut the lead to single digits after the pull-away run.
One of Gonzaga's main objectives was subduing Brownridge, who was averaging 18.5 points entering the game. Brownridge also only took nine shots, making four of them.
"We know that when they win games, he's a huge part of it," Collins said. "We focused our defensive attention on him and tried to limit his shots. We wanted to try to limit his shots and make it humanly as tough as possible."
Gonzaga next travels to play at Loyola Marymount on Thursday while Santa Clara plays at San Francisco.
-- Gonzaga G Nigel Williams-Goss (15.6 points per game) did not play because of a sprained ankle despite playing in the second half on Thursday at BYU after rolling the ankle in the first half. He scored 24 of his 33 points after halftime in that game.
-- Santa Clara has already eclipsed its win total (11) from last season. The 4-2 start in the West Coast Conference was the best since 2010-11 (opened 6-2). The 7-4 record entering Saturday is the best since 2006-07 (9-2).
-- Never before was a game featuring a No. 1 team played in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004-05. The Bulldogs were ranked second in the AP poll when they beat Portland in McCarthey on March 2, 2013.
-- Santa Clara G Jared Brownridge ranks second in school history and fifth on the WCC career scoring list with 2,172. He scored 13 points against Gonzaga to pass Anthony Ireland of Loyola Marymount (2,169, 2010-14) for fifth. Brownridge is first on the list for scoring in WCC games with 1,191 points. He passed Hank Gathers of Loyola Marymount (1,190 points, 1988-90) as the career leader in conference games.