No. 14 Gonzaga aiming to continue dominance of Portland

After a weeklong break, No. 14 Gonzaga will return to action when it travels to face Portland on Saturday night in Portland, Ore.The Bulldogs (17-4, 6-1 West Coast Conference) are looking to build some momentum heading into the final month of the regular season after securing a 99-90 win at Pacific last Saturday.Gonzaga bounced back after having a 75-game home winning streak snapped by Loyola Marymount.Drew Timme rebounded from what he felt was a subpar effort in that defeat by scoring a career-high 38 points against Pacific, including 24 in the second half. At one point, Timme scored 18 consecutive points for Gonzaga, dominating in the paint.Timme’s performance was enough to help the Bulldogs avoid back-to-back conference losses for the first time since 2014.”You’ve just got to do what it takes to win, obviously,” Timme said. “I didn’t have the game I saw fit the other night, and it’s all about how you bounce back and respond to adversity.”But once again, it wasn’t the Gonzaga defense’s finest hour against Pacific, which continues to be a reason for the Bulldogs’ struggles at times this season.Gonzaga ranks 89th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency this season, according to, which is its lowest ranking since 2006. Pacific had five players score in double figures and shot 47.6 percent from the field.”(Timme) delivered. We needed him to,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “We definitely won with our offense tonight. It wasn’t our defense that won that game.”Gonzaga has won 15 in a row against Portland (11-12, 3-5), including a 115-75 win at home on Jan. 14, and is 42-2 against the Pilots during Few’s tenure as Bulldogs’ coach.The Pilots aimed to limit Timme by stuffing the paint in their last meeting. The strategy opened things up for Gonzaga’s shooters to hit 17 three-pointers, led by Malachi Smith’s seven triples and 27 points. Portland’s 19 turnovers didn’t help and nullified its best efforts on the offensive end.