Gonzaga 73, No. 16 Saint Mary’s (Cal) 59
Gonzaga was blown out last month in its first game against No.
16 Saint Mary’s, and center Rob Sacre said the Bulldogs did not
want that to happen again.
”We played our game, our tempo,” Sacre said Thursday night
after Gonzaga beat Saint Marys’ 73-59 night to avenge the earlier
loss to the West Coast Conference leader.
Kevin Pangos scored 27 points for Gonzaga, and Sacre added 12
points and nine rebounds.
”We were hungry to get back at them,” Sacre said of the 83-62
loss to the Gaels on Jan. 12.
The win kept alive the hopes of Gonzaga (19-4, 9-2) to win its
12th consecutive regular season title, the second-longest streak in
Division 1 history after UCLA’s 13 straight.
But the Zags will need somebody to beat Saint Mary’s (22-3,
11-1), which saw its 12-game winning streak snapped. Their last
loss was Dec. 22 to No. 6 Baylor.
”I told them before the game, `Everybody in the building needs
to know who the toughest guys were,”’ Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.
”Our bigs played tough. Our guards played tough.”
Gary Bell Jr. scored 12 points and Elias Harris had 10 points
and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga, which shot 52 percent while holding
Saint Mary’s to 38 percent. They dominated the rebounding
Few was impressed with the play of Pangos and Bell, freshmen
guards who both played more than 30 minutes.
”They have big wills, big hearts,” Few said.
The game was a back-and-forth battle until the final 13 minutes,
when Gonzaga outscored the Gaels 28-14.
”I think it’s always defense,” Pangos said of the late rally.
”You start runs by getting stops.”
Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said the rebound difference was
”They were just more aggressive there,” Bennett said.
”Eventually that paid off big dividends for them.”
Matthew Dellavedova had 20 points for Saint Mary’s, which was
just 5 of 21 from 3-point range.
”For the first 25 minutes, our defense was like good to OK,”
Dellavedova said. ”But we broke down and they were getting lots of
penetration and hitting a lot of open 3s.”
Gonzaga was 7 of 15 on 3s.
Trailing by three points at halftime, Saint Mary’s opened the
second half with a 9-4 run to take a 40-38 lead. But consecutive
3-pointers by Pangos and Bell put Gonzaga ahead 44-40.
The teams traded baskets until Pangos hit a 3-pointer with 8
minutes left to extend Gonzaga’s lead to 56-49. Bell added another
3 a minute later and Gonzaga led 59-49.
After two free throws by Dellavedova, Pangos hit his fifth
3-pointer in as many attempts for a 62-51 lead with 6 minutes
Gonzaga jumped to a 14-8 lead, but Brad Waldow’s basket put
Saint Mary’s up 17-16 with 10 minutes left. Pangos hit two
3-pointers as Gonzaga built a 26-21 lead.
Dellavedova scored six points as Saint Mary’s got within 30-29,
but baskets by Sacre and Pangos staked Gonzaga to a 34-31 halftime
Gonzaga has won or shared the WCC regular season title every
year since 2000-01.
Gonzaga is 101-7 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it
opened in 2004