French forward Killian Tillie scored 26 points on 10-for-11 shooting for sixth-ranked Gonzaga in an 88-60 rout of San Francisco in a semifinal game in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS – The Gonzaga men’s basketball team and Killian Tillie might be playing their best at the right time.
After shooting 61 percent against Loyola Marymount in the West Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals, the No. 6 Zags were accurate again in Monday night’s semifinal game against San Francisco.
Tillie scored 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting, including connecting on all five three-pointers, to lead Gonzaga past the Dons 88-60.
The top-seeded Zags, in their 21st straight WCC tournament final, will play Brigham Young for the title at 6 p.m. Tuesday. BYU (24-9) beat 20th-ranked Saint Mary’s 85-72 in the other semifinal.
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“It’s great to advance to another tournament final, but it’s not easy when everyone is telling them (you’re going to win every year),” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “These guys do a masterful job with those expectations. We will get everyone’s best shot (tomorrow).”
French forward Tillie has made all 10 of his three-point attempts at the tournament and is 19 of 23 from the field. His streak of converting threes is 11 and dates to the last game of the regular season against BYU.
“Coach is telling me to shoot the ball and he’s mad at me when I don’t shoot,” Tillie said. “I’ve just been making them.”
Also for the Zags (29-4), Rui Hachimura had 17 points and Zach Norvell Jr. added 14. Johnathan Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga, which won its 13th straight, and 16th in a row at the WCC tournament.
Nate Renfro led the fourth-seeded Dons (18-15) with 15 points. Frankie Ferrari and Souley Boum each added nine points for San Francisco.
The Zags played a nearly flawless first half, shooting 18 of 28 (64 percent), including 8 of 14 (57 percent) from three-point range.
After the Dons scored the game’s first two points, Gonzaga went on a 13-2 run and never trailed again.
The Zags built a 48-27 halftime lead.
“Our defense in the first 15 minutes of the game is what won it for us,” Few said. “Offensively, we’ve been making shots.”
Gonzaga’s lead never got below 19 and grew to as many as 33 in the second half.
The Zags finished from the field at 53 percent, including 46 percent from three-point range.
“You’re not going to take everything away from (Gonzaga),” San Francisco coach Kyle Smith said. “We got in a little flow offensively early. But then we didn’t make defensive stops.”