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Day after Portland

Better late than never.

 

I was actually at the Portland airport even earlier than I anticipated this morning. That’s what happens when the person in the hotel room above yours for some reason decides to walk a marathon all night. Not sure of their official time, but it seemed like 4 hours and change.

I started this day-after post at the Portland airport, finished 90 percent of it in the air, but wasn't able to post it with a tight connection in Chicago.

 

Here are the links: S-R game story, Oregonian and A.P.

 

Read on for more. Check back later for my GU-Butler preview.

 


—It wasn’t the best night for Gonzaga’s bigs, but some of that was Portland’s doing. Pilots coach Eric Reveno said his team wanted to concentrate defensively on GU’s interior, but it came at the expense of the Zags making eight first-half 3s and nine overall.

The four bigs (Olynyk, Harris, Dower and Karnowski) finished with 33 points on 14-of-33 shooting, and that includes Olynyk’s 21 points on 8 of 9 FGs. Of those 33 points, 27 came in the second half (19 by Olynyk, 8 by Harris).

Olynyk and Gary Bell Jr. both picked up two fouls early and spent long stretches on the bench. Olynyk was whistled for his third foul early in the second half but managed to avoid picking up another foul. Bell finished with four fouls and played just 19 minutes.

“You never want to be in foul trouble but it happens and you have to play through it,” Olynyk said. “That’s why we have a team of 12 and not a team of 1.”

Harris was just 1 of 9 in the first half, but he had a couple of monster dunks in the second half. Karnowski, who has been battling a cold for a while, was 0 of 3 with two turnovers. Dower made 1 of 5 shots.

—I could have sworn Guy Landry Edi made a twisting 4-foot shot that hung on the rim, but the official scorer gave the bucket to Olynyk on a tip-in. Regardless, Edi had a solid night with seven points – 1 of 1 from long distance and 2 of 2 at the FT line. He also had a steal.

Combinations of the trio of ‘3s’ (Edi, Mike Hart and Drew Barham) actually saw court time together. Hart was back in the starting lineup and Barham knocked down three 3s in the first half.

“Those guys came in strong and were ready when their name was called,” said Hart, a Portland native who was surrounded by family and friends outside the locker room. “We’re going to need those guys big time, the way Drew can shoot it and Guy’s all-around game.”

—David Stockton, who had four rebounds and four assists, was asked how he’d defend Gonzaga if he was an opposing coach.

“Oh,” said Stockton, pondering the question before cracking, “I’d probably make me shoot the ball. I’d like that.”

—Ex-Zag Jeremy Pargo and a couple of his Cleveland teammates attended the game. Pargo, who also caught up with the Zags in Orlando, visited with the team afterward in the locker room. The Cavs defeated Portland on Wednesday night.

STATS OF NOTE

—Gonzaga made nine 3s, tying its second highest total of the season (Baylor and West Virginia). GU made 11 3s against Lewis-Clark State College.

—The Zags attempted a season-low 11 free throws (previous low was 15).

—GU had huge advantages in points in the paint (36-18, 26 of GU’s coming in the second half), off turnovers (30-15) and second-chance (19-4).

—Olynyk only missed two shots (one FG and one FT).

—Olynyk is averaging 28.3 points in last three games and 23.8 in his last six (21, 21, 16, 33, 31 and 21).

Stockton has 15 assists in his last three games.

—Barham had made 4 of 12 3-pointers entering the game. He was 3 of 4 from long distance against Portland.

—Karnowski, whose scoring average was in double digits in early December, has dropped to 7.1 ppg.

 

QUOTEBOOK

Barham, on trying to stay ready despite sporadic playing time: “It’s hard, but if you look at the big picture we’ve been winning games.”

Few, on winning the boards 35-22: “We kind of addressed our rebounding issues we’ve had over the last 2-3 games against a really good rebounding team.”

Stockton, on the bench’s performance: “We were in foul trouble early and the bench was called in. We played good defense and we were pretty solid.”

 


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