Gonzaga withstands back-to-back tests in WCC, edging Pepperdine 75-70

Killian Tillie will return for the Zags next season
The Gonzaga Bulletin
Killian Tillie, Gonzaga forward Photo courtesy of The Gonzaga Bulletin Photographer: Libby Kamrowski

SPOKANE, Wash. — If Thursday night showed the Zags how badly every other team in the West Coast Conference wants to take them down, they were reassured by Pepperdine Saturday night.

The Waves’ Colbey Ross was hard to stop, scoring 15 first half points to help Pepperdine tie the Zags at halftime, 37 all. The Bulldogs’ 1-of-9 shooting mark from three didn’t help matters. Killian Tillie was the only to score in double figures in the first 20 minutes, with 10 points.

Second half starts have been key for the Zags, and they outscored Pepperdine 10-2 in the first 3.5 minutes of the second frame, and took a 51-44 lead.

Ross helped erase that lead, his lay-in plus a Skylar Chavez three gave Pepperdine the 53-51 lead with 11:42 to play.

Admon Gilder answered later with a lay-in and three of his own, as Gonzaga took the lead back and extended it to as much as eight with five minutes to play.

The Waves were down just three, 73-70 with 14 seconds to go. Filip Petrusev left the door open after a missed free throw, giving Pepperdine a chance to tie it.

That’s when Colbey Ross looked to pull up from three off a screen with seconds winding down, only to be swatted by Killian Tillie.

Admon Gilder was fouled with 5 seconds remaining, and hit both free throws. No. 1 Gonzaga prevailed 75-70.

They’re 2-0 in WCC play, and travel to San Diego next Thursday. Killian Tillie led the Zags with 20 points, Petrusev added 16, Joel Ayayi scored 12, Gilder with 11, and Corey Kispert added 10.