|No. 12 Gonzaga beats Pacific 85-67|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 01 December 2012 18:30|
From there it was all Gonzaga, as the Zags pulled away to an 85-67 victory Saturday night.
``They did a great job of getting the ball inside,'' Pacific coach Bob Thomason said. ``They got all our post players in foul trouble.''
``We will not play a bigger team than that the rest of the year,'' Thomason said after Gonzaga's bigs combined to score 64 points.
They were led by Sam Dower with 18 points, Elias Harris with 17 and Kelly Olynyk with 15.
Gonzaga (8-0) also tied the team record for most wins to open a season.
``We've been very good so far,'' Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. ``But we don't know how good a teams we've played.''
That will become apparent as the season wears on, Few said.
What is certain is that Gonzaga's schedule is toughening up. They'll play their first true road game on Wednesday at Washington State. Then they host No. 22 Illinois on Saturday.
``This is going to be a difficult week,'' Few said. ``Washington State is always difficult for us. And I've seen enough of Illinois to know they are good.''
Travis Fulton led Pacific (3-4) with 15 points. Lorenzo McCloud had 14.
Few won his 350th game and has a 350-90 career record, all with the Bulldogs.
Pacific made eight of its first 14 shots to jump to an 18-10 lead. Gonzaga replied with an 11-2 run, taking a 21-20 lead on Olynyk's dunk.
Then Gonzaga went on a 10-0 run to build a 39-27 lead with 4:20 left in the half. The run included two free throws by Pangos after the Pacific team was called for a technical.
Gonzaga led 49-34 at halftime, behind 14 points from Dower, who made all five of his field goal attempts, and 11 from Olynyk.
``We missed too many easy shots,'' Thomason said. ``We didn't scrap on the boards.''
Pacific has no answer for Gonzaga's huge front line.
``They were efficient and tough and finished plays,'' Few said. ``We have great depth and great balance.''
Few was pleased that his team sank 23 of 28 free throws.
``The only way to stop our posts is to foul them,'' Few said.
Gonzaga extended its lead in the second half, and it reached 22 points, 67-45, on Gary Bell Jr.'s 3-pointer with 10 minutes left.
Pacific clawed back behind a couple of 3-pointers by Rodrigo De Souza, which cut Gonzaga's lead to 72-59 with 5:40 left.
But the Bulldogs pulled away at the free throw line, and Harris' dunk gave them an 81-61 lead with less than 3 minutes left.
This is the first meeting between the schools since 1976. Pacific is joining the West Coast Conference next season.
Thomason has announced he is retiring after this season.
Gonzaga is 110-7 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in the 2004-05 season.