Gonzaga-San Diego Preview

Gonzaga-San Diego Preview

Published Dec. 29, 2014 1:32 p.m. ET

After getting a potentially significant win in its West Coast Conference opener, Gonzaga will try to avoid a letdown when it continues its longest road stretch of the season.

The seventh-ranked Bulldogs were upset in their last visit to San Diego, however, and they'll try for a different result Monday night.

Gonzaga opened conference play with an 87-80 win Saturday at BYU, the team thought to be the toughest challenger to the Bulldogs in the WCC.

Kevin Pangos had 18 of his 21 points in the second half and Kyle Wiltjer had 13 of his team-best 24 points after halftime, including the go-ahead jumper with 7:38 remaining. Gonzaga (12-1, 1-0) also allowed one field goal and seven points in the final five minutes in its first of three consecutive road games.


"It felt like four games in one, and luckily we made enough plays and tightened up the D down the stretch and that got us the difference," coach Mark Few said.

The Bulldogs lost in its lone trip to BYU last season and followed with a 69-66 defeat at San Diego before finally clinching their 17th WCC regular-season title in 21 seasons. The loss to the Toreros ended an 11-game win streak in the series and was just their third defeat in the last 36 meetings.

San Diego dropped its WCC opener Saturday, 61-58 to visiting Portland. The first loss in five home games for the Toreros (7-6, 0-1) also denied them a season-high fourth consecutive win.

They shot 37.1 percent and went 1 for 9 from 3-point range after converting at 49.0 percent and 46.8, respectively, in their prior three games. Senior guard Johnny Dee, one of the WCC's leading scorers at 18.8 points per game, was held to 11 on a season-worst 5-of-15 shooting and has a combined 19 points in his past two contests.

Dee scored a team-leading 16 points in last season's upset of the nation's 25th-ranked team and had 26 in a 59-56 road loss to the Bulldogs on Jan. 23.

He's 27 points shy of surpassing Brandon Johnson's program-best 1,790 from 2005-10.

"It would definitely be cool, something I would be honored to achieve. It's not my focus right now," Dee said. "We have a goal to win 20 games and make the NCAA tournament. Those are kind of the things that would mean so much more to me than a scoring record."

Duda Sanadze had 15 points in last season's visit from Gonzaga but is averaging 6.2 on 32.8 percent shooting this season after scoring 12.9 per game and shooting 40.5 percent as a sophomore.

Bulldogs center Przemek Karnowski averaged 14.5 points on 14-of-20 shooting in last season's two meetings but has been held to single digits in two of his last three games. He had nine points against BYU and pulled down 10 rebounds, his second-most this season.