That’s an unbelievable streak we have going. It's never easy. These guys do a masterful job throughout the year of dealing with great expectations. We usually get everybody's best shot. —Gonzaga head coach Mark Few
LAS VEGAS — Top-seeded Gonzaga made sure early on that there was no doubt about advancing to the West Coast Conference tournament championship game.
As if there were any doubt at all.
The Zags jumped out to a 23-point first-half lead against No. 4 seed San Francisco Monday night and cruised to a dominating 88-60 victory at Orleans Arena.
The Zags will be playing in their 21st consecutive WCC tournament title game Tuesday night against the winner of the other semifinal matchup — No. 2 Saint Mary’s and No. 3 BYU.
“That’s an unbelievable streak we have going,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few. “It’s never easy. “These guys do a masterful job throughout the year of dealing with great expectations. We usually get everybody’s best shot.”
Gonzaga (29-4), ranked No. 6 in the country, shot 64 percent in the first half, including 8 of 14 from 3-point range, against the Dons.
In the second half, the Zags, who were challenged by Loyola Marymount last Saturday in the quarterfinals before pulling away, led by as many as 33.
Forward Killian Tillie scored a game-high 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field and 5 of 5 from 3-point territory.
“I’ve been shooting great,” said Tillie. “Josh (Perkins) gets me the ball and tells me to shoot.”
Rui Hachimura came off the bench to score 17 while Zach Norvell added 14 and Johnathan Williams chipped in 10 to go along with 10 rebounds. Perkins had six points and eight assists.
As a team, the Bulldogs shot 53 percent compared to 37 percent for USF. The Dons were led by Nate Renfro, who scored 15.
San Francisco dropped to 18-15 overall.
GONZAGA INVITATIONAL: Gonzaga is seeking its sixth consecutive WCC tournament title. The Bulldogs have won 15 conference tournament championships since 1999.
Since 2009, the Zags and the Gaels have met in the championship game seven times. The only two times they didn’t play each other in the final game were in 2014 and 2015, when Gonzaga defeated BYU in back-to-back seasons.
As usual, Orleans Arena was filled Monday night with Zags fans, who were loud from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
“We have the best fans in the country,” Tillie said. “They always follow us (on the road) and cheer for us.”
CHARITY CHALLENGE: BYU coach Dave Rose has advanced to the final round of the ESPN INFINITI Coaches’ Charity Challenge. Rose is competing to raise $100,000 for the BYU Simmons Center for Cancer Research. Fans can vote daily by composing or retweeting a tweet with the hashtags #Timeout2Vote #CoachDaveRose and at INFINITItimeout.com.