Gonzaga pounds Pepperdine for Mark Few’s 700th win

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Graham Ike scored 24 points and Gonzaga coach Mark Few recorded his 700th career victory as the Bulldogs beat Pepperdine 86-61 on Thursday in Malibu, Calif.

Few reached the 700-win milestone in his 840th game as coach, second-fastest all-time behind legendary Adolph Rupp, who got there in 836 games.

The contest marked the first time Gonzaga (12-5, 3-1 West Coast Conference) played as an unranked team since the 2015-16 season. The Bulldogs were ranked 143 consecutive times before falling out of the Top 25 earlier this week, stemming from a 77-76 loss at Santa Clara on Jan. 11.

Nolan Hickman scored 19 points and Anton Watson added 16 points and eight rebounds as the Bulldogs defeated the Waves (9-11, 2-3) for the 47th consecutive time. The win was Gonzaga’s 21st in a row on the Pepperdine campus.

Jevon Porter scored 16 points for the Waves, who shot 39.3 percent from the field and were 6 of 18 (33.3 percent) from behind the arc.

Gonzaga shot 56.3 percent from the field, including 8 of 20 (40 percent) from 3-point range. Ike connected on 11 of 17 shots. Ben Gregg collected 10 rebounds and Ike had seven as the Zags amassed a 42-26 edge on the boards.

The Waves played the Bulldogs even for 20 minutes before Gonzaga delivered a fierce 23-3 knockout punch to start the second half.

Ike and Watson each scored seven points as Gonzaga opened with a 15-2 burst to take a 55-42 lead with 12:55 remaining. After a Pepperdine free throw, Ryan Nembhard scored five straight points and Hickman converted a three-point play to make it 63-43 with 10:09 left.

Gonzaga’s largest lead was 29 on Braden Huff’s jumper with 1:25 remaining.

Hickman’s basket with nine seconds left in the first half allowed Gonzaga to tie the score at 40 entering the break. Hickman had 12 in the half for the Bulldogs, while Porter scored 13 for Pepperdine.

Gonzaga led 28-19 after Hickman buried a 3-pointer with 6:43 left in the half. The Waves answered with a 13-3 burst and took a 32-31 edge on Porter’s 3-pointer with 3:59 remaining.

Houston Mallette’s basket gave Pepperdine a 40-38 lead with 35 seconds left. It looked as if the Waves would take the lead into the break, but a turnover by Porter set up Hickman’s tying basket.