Tale of the tape: Gonzaga 71, WSU 69
FROM PULLMAN — We're back with our tale of the tape from WSU's gut-wrenching, 71-69 loss to Gonzaga at Beasley Coliseum. Read on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — A tough, tough call here. Ultimately, it probably should go to Kelly Olynyk, who came alive in the second half to score all of his 22 points. He shot 10-17 from the field and was the main reason why Gonzaga built its second-half lead, and was also the main reason why the Bulldogs were able to match each of WSU's blows down the stretch. But DaVonte Lacy deserves mention here, too. He came through with easily the best performance of his collegiate career in his first game back after missing four games with a left knee injury, scoring 22 points and making a handful of clutch 3-pointers down the stretch to keep the Cougars in it. Lacy also tied the game with 7.8 seconds left on a driving layup. And, of course, Brock Motum chipped in 23 points on 8-13 shooting.
PLAY OF THE GAME — This figured to be a tough call, too, until Kevin Pangos made his running layup with 2.2 seconds left to win it for Gonzaga. Pangos said he first looked to see if Gonzaga had called timeout, and when he realized it hadn't, he just wanted to take the ball hard to the basket and see if he could make something happened. He drove past everyone, banked in the shot and won the game. Lacy's layup and 3-pointers — as well as Motum's deep three with 14 secondsleft — are the runners-up here.
STAT OF THE GAME — We wrote quite a bit about Gonzaga's frontcourt before this game, and that wound up being the difference. Elias Harris and Olynyk combined to make 20 of 31 from the field and score 45 points, while the rest of the Bulldogs made just 8 of 24 and scored 26. If the Cougars had been able to slow Olynyk just a little in the second half, they might have won this one.
QUOTABLE — “What we’ve done in the last 16 days is very pleasing to our staff. We played Kansas on a neutral court and got blasted. I know we’re home tonight, but we played a very, very good team in Gonzaga and I think we’re getting better and we’re proud of that.” — WSU coach Ken Bone
UP NEXT — Sunday at noon against Fresno State in Beasley Coliseum. Fresno State is 4-3 and plays a game against San Diego Christian, an NAIA school, tomorrow night.