SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Graham Ike scored 26 points and No. 23 Gonzaga clinched a bye into the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament by beating San Francisco 86-68 on Thursday night.

The Bulldogs (23-6, 13-2) won their 29th straight game against the Dons (22-8, 11-4) to wrap up the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament behind regular-season champion No. 17 Saint Mary's.

The top two teams get byes to the semifinals meaning Gonzaga will need to win only two games in Las Vegas to win the conference tournament and earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

But a win for the Bulldogs in the regular-season finale Saturday at Saint Mary's could help solidify an at-large tournament berth,

“It’s big for us to get that double bye,” Ike said. “But we still got to take care of business on Saturday. That’s what we’re looking forward to. Glad we got it done tonight. Enjoy it for a couple hours and then get on to tomorrow and get ready for Saint Mary’s.”

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Gonzaga pulled away early in the second half, scoring the first 13 points to build a 14-point lead. Ike capped the run with back-to-back baskets from in close to make it 48-34 and the Bulldogs were never threatened the rest of the way.

“It was just a great response to what was a really hard fought game,” coach Mark Few said “It started with our stops. I don’t know how many consecutive stops we had with our defense. It was just absolutely fantastic in that first 10 minutes of the second half and that led to us getting out our break. That’s when we’re always at our best.”

Nolan Hickman scored 22 points and Ryan Nembhard added 15 to help Gonzaga win its seventh straight game.

Malik Thomas scored 23 points and Jonathan Mogbo added 14 for San Francisco.

The Dons moved their home game from campus to the Chase Center, where the NBA's Golden State Warriors play, to get a bigger crowd even if it lacked the same home-court edge.

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They started strong on the big stage and led almost the entire first half before Anton Watson gave Gonzaga its first lead with a basket with four seconds left in the half to make it 35-34.

The Dons then missed 15 of their first 16 shots in the second half.

“They have a tendency to really come out of the gates strong in the second half. They sure did that,” coach Chris Gerlufsen said. “They staggered us and we didn’t respond the way that we need to in that moment. Credit to them. They got away from us.”


Gonzaga: The Bulldogs earned their second Quad 1 win of the season after winning at Kentucky earlier in February to bolster their NCAA Tournament hopes. Gonzaga's 25 straight tournament bids are the third longest active streak but they are firmly on the bubble this season.

San Francisco: The Dons have had a strong season and clinched third place in the WCC but there is still a gap between them and the top two teams. San Francisco lost all four meetings to Gonzaga and Saint Mary's but is undefeated against the rest of the conference.


Gonzaga: Visit No. 17 Saint Mary's on Saturday night.

San Francisco: Visit Santa Clara on Saturday.

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