Jan 25, 2014; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few talks with Gonzaga Bulldogs center Sam Dower (35) against the Brigham Young Cougars during the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

1st Half From Vegas: Gonzaga Romping BYU Early on

 

Jan 25, 2014; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few talks with Gonzaga Bulldogs center Sam Dower (35) against the Brigham Young Cougars during the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The first half has been all Gonzaga Bulldogs so far, with the Zags leading BYU 44 to 27 in the WCC tournament final.

Gonzaga has led the entire game and the Bulldogs have had their foot on the gas pedal the entire time. A 20-8 run to start the game gave the Zags a big lead, and they finished the half on a smaller, but effective 24 to 19 run.

Sam Dower has been very assertive early on, scoring 14 points on seven of 14 shooting. He also grabbed sevem rebounds to go along with his point total. Gary Bell Jr. is arguably playing his best basketball of the season, and is showing it in the tournament final with eight points on a perfect three of three shooting. Przemek Karnowski and Drew Barham each have six points to add to the Bulldogs.

The one thing that could hurt Gonzaga moving forward is foul trouble. Angel Nunez, Kyle Dranginis, Bell, Karnowski and Barham all have two fouls a piece.

BYU has gotten nine points from both Tyler Haws and Kyle Collinsworth, but outside of that there has not a lot of contribution. Collinsworth also has four rebounds to lead the Cougars.

The Cougars are shooting 33 percent from the field while Gonzaga is shooting 61 percent. The Zags are four of seven from 3-point range while BYU is only one of four. BYU has 10 turnovers to Gonzaga’s four. Based on the aforementioned team stats, it’s pretty clear why the Bulldogs are up as big as they are.

To sustain its lead, Gonzaga needs to keep running their offense and finding open shots. Late rotations from the BYU defense has given the Bulldogs a ton of open shots, and the Bulldogs ability to knock those down has been massive.

BYU needs to crash the glass and force its way to the rim to battle its way back. The Zags are in a bit of foul trouble, and that could haunt them later in this game if BYU pounces on the opportunity to foul out some of their players and force them to sit.

Tags: Basketball Brigham Young Cougars BYU BYU Basketball BYU Cougars College Basketball Gonzaga Gonzaga Bulldogs WCC West Coast Conference