No. 7 Gonzaga beats Pepperdine 92-62 in WCC opener

No. 7 Gonzaga beat Pepperdine by 30 points, dominated the boards and forced the Waves into 20 turnovers.

The verdict?

“We played OK,” said Jordan Mathews, who scored 15 points on five 3-pointers. “We had some sluggish moments.”

Nigel Williams-Goss and Przemek Karnowski each had 16 points as Gonzaga beat short-handed Pepperdine 92-62 on Thursday night, extending the best start in program history.

Three other players scored in double figures for the unbeaten Bulldogs (13-0, 1-0 West Coast Conference).

“We didn’t play our best tonight,” Mathews said.

Gonzaga held a seven-point lead after the first half and did not put away scrappy Pepperdine until midway through the second.

“I didn’t think that was one of our better efforts of the year,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “In the second half, we defended much, much better.”

Lamond Murray Jr. scored 19 points for Pepperdine (4-9, 0-1), which has lost eight games in a row and was missing two starters because of injuries. Jeremy Major added 15.

Gonzaga went unbeaten in nonconference play for the first time since joining the NCAA in 1958. The Bulldogs have now won 21 straight conference openers, dating to a loss in 1996.

Coming in, Gonzaga had trailed for a total of 33 minutes, 29 seconds in 12 games this season, and only against Florida in the second half.

That didn’t intimidate the Waves, who led for more than four minutes and stayed close for much longer.

Nolan Taylor hit three straight Pepperdine baskets as the Waves took an 18-15 lead midway through the first half.

Gonzaga scored six…

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