Kyle Wiltjer scores 45, Zags beat Pacific


Kyle Wiltjer went off as the Gonzaga Bulldogs took down the Pacific Tigers 86-74.

Feb 19, 2015; Stockton, CA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) shoots a free throw during the second half of the game against the Pacific Tigers at Spanos Center. The Gonzaga Bulldogs defeated the Pacific Tigers 86-74. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Wiltjer had a huge game.  He nailed seven threes on his way to scoring 45 points.  He also hauled in six rebounds.  He also had four assists.  Overall he shot 68.8% from the field, including shooting 70% from three point land.  Those are incredible numbers.  This was by far Wiltjer’s best game of the season.  If he continues to play this well, especially in the tournament, I expect Gonzaga to have a lot of success and I wouldn’t expect Wiltjer to return to Gonzaga.  Rather he would enter the NBA draft.  I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s exciting nonetheless.

Kevin Pangos had a good game distributing the rock as he tallied eight assists.  It is easy for Pangos to get assists when all he has to do is pass to Wiltjer and let him go to work.  Gary Bell Jr. had a better game and appears to be leaving his shooting slump.  He had 12 points and went 2-4 from behind the arc.

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Pacific played well.  They were making a lot of great shots throughout the game, but especially in the first half.  They were exposing weak spots in Gonzaga’s defense at times.  T.J. Wallace had 19 points and David Taylor had 18.  Gonzaga’s perimeter defense was especially bad.  This game was good for the Zags to realize what they need to focus on improving on heading into March.

Up next for the Zags is a big rivalry game against St. Mary’s in Moraga on Saturday, February 21.  This is going to be a good test for the Zags at the end of the season.  The Pacific Tigers will face Portland on Saturday as well.