Gonzaga dominated from start to finish, from offense to defense to the glass. The third-ranked Bulldogs dismantled visiting Santa Clara 85-42 on Wednesday for their ninth straight victory.
Elias Harris had 17 points and nine rebounds in just 23 minutes. Kelly Olynyk added 14 points and seven boards in 18 minutes. Mike Hart finished with six points and seven rebounds, two coming at the offensive end that elicited a standing ovation from an appreciative crowd.
Eleven Zags scored and 13 played.
My unedited game story is below. Back in the morning with a day-after post.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs probably set a season high for standing ovations Wednesday night.
Some of the biggest praise came afterward from head coach Mark Few.
The third-ranked Bulldogs dominated in just about every way possible, crushing Santa Clara 85-42 in front of a full house of 6,000 at the
“Outstanding effort by our guys, probably the best I’ve ever seen in this building as far as our defense, our rebounding and heck even our offensive execution,” Few said. “I have no complaints there.”
The Bulldogs compiled an assortment of highlights: Olynyk going baseline for a soaring one-handed dunk, Harris scoring on a nifty reverse layup and on a left-handed hook shot, and Olynyk poking the ball away from
But the loudest ovations were for senior wing Mike Hart, who brought the crowd to its feet by hustling down a pair of offensive rebounds that led to a Harris’ basket with 6:04 remaining in the first half.
“That was pretty sweet,” said Hart, who made a pair of 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds. “I’m appreciative of the fans that they understand how that helps the game and helps our team, knowledgeable fans that appreciate the little things.”
Roughly 2 minutes later, Hart snagged an offensive rebound on Gary Bell Jr.’s missed free throw. GU missed two more shots but collected the offensive boards and Olynyk capitalized with a layup, extending the Zags’ lead to 34-9.
“Mike been doing that forever,”
Hart drew the defensive assignment on Foster, who averages 18.4 points per game and ranks third on the WCC’s all-time scoring list. Foster, one of SCU’s four 1,000-point career scorers along with Marc Trasolini, Evan Roquemore and Raymond Cowels III, made just 2 of 10 field goals and finished with four points. The foursome combined for just 17 points on 8-of-31 shooting.
“Five guys committed to defense,” said Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos, who guarded Roquemore. “There’s no way you can completely take away their space, but when they did get space we had help. When we’re playing like that, with that energy, our defense is great.”
Gonzaga stretched its lead to 30 early in the second half. The margin grew to 40 on
“The best thing was it wasn’t for 15 minutes, 25 minutes,” Few said. “It was for 40 minutes.”
Harris finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. Olynyk added 14 points and seven boards and Sam Dower chipped in 11 points. Eleven Zags scored and 13 played.
“It’s a great group that cares about each other and roots for each other,” Few said. “When they’re getting contributions from everybody, obviously they enjoy that.”
Reserve guard Brandon Clark paced
“They outhustled us, outworked us, outplayed us,” SCU coach Kerry Keating said, “and solidified their position, obviously, as one of the best teams in the country.”