Gonzaga got a rare test in conference play just in time for a first-place showdown against Saint Mary’s.
Johnathan Williams scored 17 points and Josh Perkins added 16 to help the 15th ranked Bulldogs to their 18th straight road victory in the West Coast Conference, 75-65 over San Francisco on Saturday night.
After winning the first five conference games by at least 29 points, Gonzaga (16-3, 6-0) had to hold off a late challenge by a San Francisco team missing two injured starters.
“We need to be put in that situation so we can show we can handle it,” Williams said. “We didn’t handle it a couple of times before. It’s good to get a win in a close game.”
Gonzaga had some tight losses during a grueling nonconference schedule, including a two-point defeat at San Diego State and a double-overtime loss to Florida. But things have been easier in the WCC leading into Thursday’s game at home against Saint Mary’s, which has won 12 straight.
The teams are tied for first thanks in part to two key blocked shots late by Rei Hachimura.
“We made enough plays to get the win, which is what this is all about,” coach Mark Few said.