Gonzaga did what it wanted on offense, pounding the ball inside to Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk.
At the other end of the floor, the Bulldogs bottled up BYU’s leading scorer, Tyler Haws, and kept Brandon Davies in check for most of the game.
The 10th-ranked Bulldogs led by as many as 22 points in the first half, endured a couple of rough patches in the second half and defeated BYU 83-63 in front of 6,000 Thursday at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga has won three straight over the Cougars, all by double figures.
Gonzaga (18-2, 5-0 WCC) maintained its hold on first place in the conference. Saint Mary’s is in second place at 6-1. BYU (15-6 overall) dropped to 5-2.
Olynyk and Harris combined for 51 points and 19 rebounds. The pair had 28 points by halftime as the Bulldogs took a commanding 40-21 lead. Gonzaga had 24 points in the paint in the first 20 minutes and 42 for the game.
The Bulldogs led 57-35 after a Harris field goal with 13:48 left, but the Cougars pieced together a comeback, led by Davies. Limited to two points in the first half, the 6-foot-9 forward scored six points as BYU closed within 64-52 with 7:35 remaining.
Olynyk was 9 of 9 from the field and 8 of 8 at the free-throw line. He finished with 26 points and five assists. The Bulldogs entertain San Francisco on Saturday at 5.