National Basketball Association
Gonzaga 68, Seton Hall 52
When: 9:57 PM ET, Thursday, March 17, 2016
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
# Don Daily, # Byron Jarrett, # Mike Reed
DENVER -- Gonzaga needed a strong finish last week to keep its NCAA Tournament streak alive. The Bulldogs used dominating defensive Thursday to extend another run.
Domantas Sabonis had 21 points and 16 rebounds, Kyle Wiltjer scored 13 and 11th-seeded Gonzaga beat sixth-seeded Seton Hall 68-52 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament's Midwest Region.
Seton Hall leading scorer Isaiah Whitehead was held to 10 points on 4-for-24 shooting. He missed all 10 of his 3-point attempts, but he wasn't the only one cold from the field as the Pirates shot 32.3 percent.
Gonzaga (27-7) won its first-round game for the eighth consecutive year, tying Kansas for the longest current streak. The Bulldogs face third-seeded Utah, a 80-69 winner over Fresno State, on Saturday.
"This group of guys, as well as the guys before them, have just done an unbelievable job of making streaks that just seemed impossible when you look back at them," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "Eighteen straight NCAAs and now eight straight wins in the first round is pretty special stuff."
The Bulldogs' swarming defense gave fits all night to Seton Hall, especially Whitehead.
"I feel it was just an off night," Whitehead said. "I faced some of the toughest defensive groups in the country playing in the Big East. This is probably my worst shooting performance. I think it was just more missing shots. I had some good looks, but just couldn't knock them down."
The Bulldogs concentrated on stopping the sophomore.
"Everyone had a part in it. We all shrunk the court," Sabonis said. "The goal was to make (them) shoot tough twos."
Sabonis did his damage on the glass and down low to record his 21st double-double of the season. His 16 rebounds were the most by a Bulldog in NCAA Tournament history.
"They're a very talented team and obviously very physical," he said. "Their bigs were physical with me. I like those kinds of matchups. I try and use it to my advantage."
Gonzaga took control late in the first half with a 15-4 run to lead 35-25 at the break. Seton Hall missed 12 straight shots during the Bulldogs' run.
The Pirates (25-9) were 9-for-33 in the first half, and things didn't start out better after intermission. They missed five of their first six shots and fell behind 42-27 after five quick points by Wiltjer.
Seton Hall chipped away after that, getting within 10 a few times before finally cutting the deficit below double digits. Khadeen Carrington's steal and layup made it 54-48, but Sabonis hit a hook and Josh Perkins sank two free throws to make it a 10-point game again.
Pirates guard Derrick Gordon missed the front end of a one-and-one, and the Bulldogs scored the next four points to go up 62-48.
The Pirates added injury to insult when Ismael Sanogo hurt his right shoulder with 4:22 left. He went to the locker room and didn't return.
"Ish popped his shoulder out again," Pirates coach Kevin Willard said. "It's the third time this year. He's fine. We popped it back in. He'll get an MRI (Friday). He's bounced back from it before, he's been out for a couple weeks, but he'll be back."
NOTES: The Zags are appearing in their 18th straight NCAA Tournament. That is fourth behind Kansas (26), Duke (21) and Michigan State (19). ... Seton Hall was in its 10th NCAA Tournament and first in 10 years. The Pirates reached the Final Four in 1989, losing in the title game to Michigan. ... Gonzaga has four players averaging double digits in scoring, with F Kyle Wiltjer leading the way at 20.7 per game. ... The Pirates won the teams' only other meeting 92-70 on Dec. 31, 1954.
Top Game Performances
Domantas Sabonis 21
Derrick Gordon 10
Josh Perkins 7
Isaiah Whitehead 8
Domantas Sabonis 16
Ismael Sanogo 9
Josh Perkins 5
||Free Throws Made
Angel Delgado 3
Josh Perkins 3
Khadeen Carrington 4
Domantas Sabonis 2
Isaiah Whitehead 1
Team Stats Summary