Georgia-Gonzaga Preview

After easily getting by each of its first four opponents, Gonzaga is ready to take its show on the road.

The No. 10 Bulldogs try to stay unbeaten when they face Georgia in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinal Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Gonzaga is looking to open 5-0 for the third time in four seasons after blowing out Division II St. Thomas Aquinas College 109-55 on Saturday. Senior Angel Nunez posted career highs with 24 points and 11 rebounds off the bench and Byron Wesley scored 22 as the Bulldogs shot a whopping 67.7 percent.

Gonzaga’s 54-point victory was its largest at the McCarthey Athletic Center, breaking the record set three days earlier in a 94-42 win over Saint Joseph’s.

"Sometimes in games like this, it’s not easy to stick with the plan when it’s coming that easy, but I thought we did a nice job," coach Mark Few said. "We kept sharing the ball like we’ve been doing this whole week. I thought we kept up our defensive intensity, especially at the end of the first half and start of the second half."

Gonzaga has six players averaging at least 10.0 points and Przemek Karnowski isn’t far off with 9.0. Freshman Domantas Sabonis leads the team with 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds while junior Kyle Wiltjer has scored 13.0 per game.

The Bulldogs are averaging 22.8 assists in the early going, among the best marks in college basketball.

"Myself and everyone else on the team, we’ve been very unselfish. And I think that’s why we’re tough to guard," Wiltjer said. "If we keep passing the ball and moving it around like we are, I think we’re going to be a really tough team to stop."

Star guard Kevin Pangos averaged 16.5 points on 66.7 percent shooting in the first two games before scoring a combined eight while playing just 19 minutes in each of the last two. The senior averaged 14.4 points and 3.6 assists last season, and he figures to look for his shot more against Georgia (3-1).

The Bulldogs have won three in a row since falling 80-73 at Georgia Tech in their season opener. Coach Mark Fox’s team has outscored opponents by an average of 15.0 points during its winning streak after getting by Florida Atlantic 74-61 on Sunday.

Marcus Thornton led the way with 17 points and 12 boards as the Bulldogs outrebounded the Owls 45-32, including 14-7 on the offensive glass.

"​It’s good to win," Fox told the school’s official website. "I think today was a good experience for our team against a well-coached team and a team that’s going to win their share of games. There are a lot of things we can learn from tonight’s game to help us get better."

Thornton leads the team with 14.0 points per game on 51.1 percent shooting, up from last season’s marks of 8.3 and 43.8.

"This year, he has confidence in his body and he has confidence in his game, and now he can be really aggressive," Fox said. "He’s playing hard and playing like a senior and I am really happy for him."

Georgia has been limited to an average of 61.2 points during a 4-23 stretch against ranked opponents. It’s gone 2-19 against Top 10 foes dating to 2004.

This marks the first meeting between these programs since Gonzaga won 75-67 on Jan. 5, 2008, improving to 2-2 in the series.