Behind the coattails of junior point guard Kevin Pangos, the Gonzaga Bulldogs rallied from a 10-point deficit to defeat the West Virginia Mounaineers by a score of 80 to 76.
Despite 3 consecutive turnovers with under 2 minutes to play, Gonzaga endured the late West Virginia surge to hold onto the victory.
Przemek Karnowski had a potential breakout game tonight with 19 points and 13 rebounds. He endured a physical West Virginia team and came up with some key plays at opportune times.
Gary Bell Jr. was equally as important in the game with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals.
Other notable performers include Kevin Pangos, Kyle Dranginis and Sam Dower Jr. Pangos hit consecutive threes down the stretch to give the Bulldogs the lead. The Gonzaga guard finished with 18 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Dranginis put in 31 quality minutes off the bench, where he scored 8 points and 6 rebounds. Dower’s put back dunk was the proverbial dagger for West Virginia. The senior forward finished with 11 points and 5 boards.
David Stockton’s 8 assists was a team-high.
The Mountaineer backcourt of Eron Harris and Juwan Staten finished with 23 and 17 points respectively to lead the Mountaineers. Staten and freshman forward Devin Williams led West Virginia in rebounding with 9 apiece. Reserve junior guard Gary Browne dished out 5 assists, a team-high for the Mountaineers.
Stat of the Game
Karnowski’s 13 rebounds and 19 points tonight is good for a double-double, his second of this career (both this season).
Key’s to the Game Checklist
Gary Bell Jr.
Bell had an enormous impact on this game as expected. His defense and athleticism was a huge factor in this contest. When the Bulldogs played man-to-man defense, Bell was given the task of guarding dynamic scorer Eron Harris, and did a decent job despite Harris having a hot hand. Bell stuffed the stat sheet as well, paying huge dividends to the Bulldogs.
Przemek Karnowski, All 7’1” of Him
Karnowski played the best game of his college basketball career tonight. He looked more aggressive than usual, and grabbed some key rebounds down the stretch of the game. He showcased some post-moves in the game that were both dynamic and elegant.
If tonight’s game is an indicator of how Karnowski is going to play down the stretch, Gonzaga fans should be extremely excited for the duration of this season.
The Bottom Line
The Bulldogs pulled out a gritty road win against a talented and physical West Virginia team. Gonzaga outrebounded the Mountaineers (43 to their 36) in this game, showing the improvements the Bulldogs have made on the glass. The Zags needs to keep teams off the offensive glass a little more to prevent second chance points (West Virginia had 12 offensive boards this game), but all-in-all the Bulldogs did a decent job.
Gonzaga takes on South Alabama this Saturday (December 14th) in the Battle of Seattle.