Gonzaga got off to a slow start against Portland, but ended up winning big. While only leading by six points at halftime, the Zags were able to defeat the Pilots 64-46 and extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 37 games.
Jan 24, 2015; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Kevin Pangos (4) makes a three-point shot against Pacific Tigers guard T.J. Wallace (2) during the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
The biggest story of the game was Kevin Pangos setting the record for most career three point shots made at Gonzaga. He passed Blake Stepp and currently has 291 threes made in his career. Pangos finished with ten points and five rebounds.
Domantas Sabonis had a strong game. He finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. This was one of many double-doubles he has had this season. Przemek Karnowski also had 11 rebounds along with 10 points. Gonzaga was strong on the glass and this definitely contributed to their advantage.
Eric McClellan did not have much of a contribution in this game. He showed some speed and aggressiveness, but it seems like he is still getting reacquainted to basketball after having a semester off for eligibility purposes and time off for his foot injury. He shows signs of explosiveness, but is still getting settled into the system.
Gonzaga continues to spread the ball around well and distribute the scoring pretty evenly. The passing in this game looked especially sharp. The Zags are starting to come together as a team and it is apparent that their team chemistry is very high. They are doing things that don’t show up on the stat sheet very well. They distribute the ball well, make good passes, and play very unselfishly. These are keys to having a good team that can make a deep postseason run.
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Portland was able to hang with the Zags in the first half. Thomas van der Mars was mostly able to contain Gonzaga’s big men in the first half. He is probably the player with the best shot of anyone in the conference to do so. He was fairly successful in the first half, but Gonzaga really exploded in the second half. Van der Mars finished with eight points, three rebounds, and two blocks. Senior forward/center, Volodymyr Gerun was strong on the boards. He finished with a game high 15 rebounds and added seven points along with two blocks.
Portland is a good team that has lost some games that most wouldn’t expect them to lose. If they can continue to play like they did against the Zags in the first half they could have some success throughout the rest of conference play.
Gonzaga looks ahead to face Memphis in Spokane on Saturday, January 31. Portland will have a week off before heading to San Francisco to face the Dons on Thursday, February 5.