Bouldin scores 16, leads balanced Gonzaga past San Diego 80-70
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)—Matt Bouldin led five players in double figures with 16 points, and Gonzaga used a fast to start to beat San Diego 80-70 on Saturday.
Josh Heytvelt added 15 points and Micah Downs scored 12 for the Bulldogs (14-4, 3-0 West Coast), who started the game on a 15-0 run and never trailed, winning their fourth straight.
Brandon Johnson had 26 points and seven steals for the Toreros (8-11, 1-1).
After trailing by as many as 22, San Diego pulled within 72-64 with 6:02 left behind eight straight points from Johnson. The Toreros then got within 76-69 with 1:06 left on a free throw by Chris Lewis, but Bouldin and Heytvelt each hit a pair of foul shots in the final 19 seconds to seal it for Gonzaga.
Steven Gray and Jeremy Pargo both added 10 points for the Bulldogs.
After Gray’s eight points staked the Zags to a 15-0 lead in the first six minutes, it looked to be a rough return for longtime Gonzaga assistant Bill Grier, now head coach at San Diego. Grier spent 16 seasons as an assistant at Gonzaga, but could only watch as the Bulldogs forced five San Diego turnovers and the Toreros missed their first six shots before De’Jon Jackson’s inside hoop finally got USD on the board.
Downs scored Gonzaga’s next 10 points, capped by a 3-pointer with 8:12 left, that pushed the lead to 27-13. San Diego got as close as 39-29 on Lewis’ bucket with 3:23 left before Gonzaga closed the half with seven straight points, six scored by Bouldin, to push the lead to 46-29 at the break. Gonzaga has won 21 of its previous 22 against San Diego.
Pargo had eight assists and David Pendergraft nine rebounds for Gonzaga. Jackson finished with 15 points and Gino Pomare had 11 rebounds for San Diego.