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Zags rally past SCU 77-63

Just another wild night at the Leavey Center.

It seems to be an annual occurrence when the Zags come to Santa Clara. Thursday was no different as GU led big early in the first half, fell behind — despite shooting at a 72-percent clip — before pulling away for a 77-63 victory.

My unedited game story is below. Day after post coming in the morning.

Inside job as GU thumps Broncos

Przemek Karnowski, Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis combined for 45 points as the Zags hammered Santa Clara 79-57 Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Read on for my unedited game story. Day-after post coming in the a.m.

Stockton’s shot sinks Santa Clara

David Stockton's twisting layup with 1.4 seconds left lifted Gonzaga past Santa Clara 77-75 at the WCC Tournament on Saturday. The victory sends GU (26-6) into a semifinal matchup Monday at 6 against No. 4 Saint Mary's, which defeated No. 5 Pepperdine late Saturday night.

The Bulldogs trailed most of the game before catching the Broncos in the final 5 minutes. Sam Dower Jr. made 15 of 15 free throws and scored 23 points. Przemek Karnowski added 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Santa Clara's Jared Brownridge put on a shooting clinic in the first half, using his quick-trigger release to score 18 of his 24 points. His jumper tied it at 75 before Stockton's game-winner.

My unedited game story is below.

Day after Santa Clara

Slow-starting this morning, a little like last night's Gonz  …

Wait, that's too predicable. Let's just get right to Wednesday's game that Gonzaga won, lost and won again on Sam Dower Jr.'s clutch 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left. The final count of 54-52 gives an indication that this one won't end up in an art gallery but that last play will stick in the minds of Gonzaga followers for a long time.

My game story, another in the S.F. Chronicle and San Jose Mercury-News. Here's a glance at Saturday's game and a Four Corners notebook item on Kevin Pangos' 21st birthday.

It was a scramble last night with the late start and crazy finish, a little like …. ah, never mind. Read on for my day-after post.

Dower’s 3 lifts Gonzaga past Broncos

Sam Dower Jr. hasn't shot too many 3s this season, but the big man has range. He showed it again Wednesday night, at the most opportune time.

Dower canned a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left to carry Gonzaga past Santa Clara 54-52.

More on Dower's shot and Gonzaga's fifth straight win below in my unedited game story.

Zags opens WCC second half at SCU

Gonzaga begins the second half of the WCC season on the road, and that will be a familiar theme until the end of the regular season.

GU has held serve at home with a 6-0 mark in conference games. BYU (3-0) is the only other WCC team with an unbeaten home record — the Cougars will play six of their last nine at the Marriott Center.

At 8-1 overall, the Bulldogs face six of their last nine on the road, beginning with a two-game Bay Area swing. The Zags face Santa Clara on Wednesday night and San Francisco on Saturday night.

Here's a link to my preview.

Day after Santa Clara

Back with my day-after post from Gonzaga's 74-60 victory over Santa Clara on Saturday. Here's my game story, Jesse Tinsley's photo gallery and John Blanchette's column. Another gamer from Vince Grippi working for AP.

UPDATE: According to Gonzaga, junior guard Gary Bell Jr., who injured his right hand in the first few minutes against Santa Clara, will see a hand specialist on Monday.

Read on.


Stockton and company defeat SCU

David Stockton scored a career-high 21 points, Kevin Pangos added 17 and Gonzaga received contributions from nearly everyone on its roster in a 74-60 win over Santa Clara on Saturday.

My unedited game story is below.

More tomorrow morning in my day-after post.

GU opens WCC campaign at home

Gonzaga begins the WCC season at home against Santa Clara tonight, and the Zags will follow that up with visits from USF on Monday, Saint Mary's on Thursday and Pacific next Saturday.

Yes, it's an odd way to open the conference season. Just about every WCC team has an extended home stretch and an extended road stretch, despite the league now having 10 members (with the addition of Pacific), an easier number for scheduling purposes. We addressed this topic months ago, but here's a bit of a refresher in my GU-SCU preview that ran in today's S-R.


Day after Santa Clara

I confess: I really expected Santa Clara, a seasoned team with proven scorers playing well of late, to give Gonzaga a battle Wednesday night. The Broncos are an upper-echelon WCC team that will probably win 22-23 games and play in one of the smaller post-season tournaments.Their RPI is 95. They gave GU everything it could handle in early January before the Zags prevailed 81-74.

Instead I witnessed a record-setting 85-42 beatdown that was over essentially 6 minutes into the first half. GU built a 44-15 halftime lead with the most complete half of basketball I've seen the Zags play this season. That includes  Gonzaga blistering Saint Mary's 46-28 in the first half in Spokane, 45-27 in the second half in Moraga, the 45-18 first half GU put on West Virginia, the 40-25 second half against Oklahoma, the 41-26 second half versus Kansas State and the 40-21 first half from the BYU game.  

"Probably the best defensive effort we've put together in this building, relative to the opponent," said coach Mark Few. The MAC opened its doors in 2004.

The links: S-R game story, S-R photos and AP.

Read on for my day-after Santa Clara post.

GU crushes Santa Clara, 85-42

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.

GU entertains Santa Clara

Gonzaga is closing in on a WCC title and the top seed for the conference tournament. The Bulldogs (25-2, 12-0 WCC)  have two home games this week, beginning with fourth-place Santa Clara (19-8, 7-5) on Wednesday.Two wins and GU claims the No. 1 seed for the tourney and at least a share of the WCC title.

Here's my game preview that will run in Wednesday's S-R.

Day after Santa Clara

I'm thrilled to post the day-after Santa Clara because it means I'm finally home! Seven-day road trip and my longest stay in Los Angeles since the 1997 Rose Bowl.

The links: My game story, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury-News and A.P.

Read on for more.

Olynyk’s 33 points lift GU past Santa Clara

Junior forward Kelly Olynyk had the best game of his Gonzaga career, racking up 33 points and 10 rebounds to lift the visiting Gonzaga Bulldogs to an 81-74 win over Santa Clara on Saturday.

Gonzaga improved to 15-1, 2-0 WCC. Santa Clara dropped to 12-4, 1-1. Kevin Foster led SCU with 29 points, but made just 10 of 24 shots. Olynyk was 12 of 15 from the field and 8 of 9 at the free-throw line.

My unedited game story is below.

Zags, Broncos in early WCC showdown

There can't be another D-I program that has had a three-year stretch comparable to Santa Clara's. The Broncos had one of the better seasons in school history, winning 24 games and a post-season tournament, then lost every conference game the following season. The pendulum is swinging the other way this season as SCU is off to a 12-3 start.

Gonzaga visits the resurgent Broncos tonight at 5 at the Leavey Center. The game is sold out, but Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating is hoping to entice more students to attend.

Here's my game preview.

Day after Santa Clara

Good morning. Gonzaga got a scare and a win last night, holding off Santa Clara 73-62 at the Leavey Center. It was an inside job with Robert Sacre and Sam Dower combining for 38 points and Elias Harris and Guy Landry Edi combining for 12 points and eight boards.

The links: My game story, San Jose Mercury News and A.P. Elsewhere, San Francisco, which entertains GU tomorrow, couldn't complete its comeback against BYU and Billy Grier's USD squad earned its sixth WCC win, defeating Portland in overtime. Saint Mary's isn't healthy for its matchup with Murray State.

Read on for my day-after post.

GU holds off stubborn Broncos, 73-62

My computer isn't cooperating so I'll put up a quick post with my unedited game story below.

Check back tomorrow for a day-after post.

Rough year for Keating, Broncos

Gonzaga is en route to the Bay Area where it will face Santa Clara, picked fifth in the WCC preseason poll, on Thursday and San Francisco on Saturday.

Santa Clara has suffered through a rocky season with key injuries, suspensions, etc. I checked in with Broncos coach Kerry Keating and he didn't sugarcoat what has become his toughest season in his five at SCU. He also sees the potential for a quick turnaround.

More from Keating on the Broncos' season here in an article that will run in Thursday's S-R. 

Day after Santa Clara

Good morning. NFL playoffs coming up, so let’s get right to the day-after Santa Clara post.

Gonzaga won its eighth straight game, routing the Broncos 82-60, last night. Here’s my game story, John Blanchette’s column on Marquise Carter and Jesse Tinsley’s photos. More from A.P., Tacoma News Tribune and Contra Costa Times.

Much more below.


Zags rout Broncos for 8th straight win

Gonzaga spotted Santa Clara a 10-0 lead before rolling to an 82-60 win Saturday at the MAC. Sam Dower had 17 points, Gary Bell Jr added 15, Elias Harris 12 and Kevin Pangos 10 as the Bulldogs (13-2, 3-0) connected on 54.5 percent of their shots.

Raymond Cowels paced Santa Clara (8-7, 0-2 WCC) with 13 points, but the Broncos made just 38.3 percent from the field.

You can read my unedited game story below. I'll have a day-after post up in the morning.

Gonzaga 82, Santa Clara 60

Santa Clara's defense fights Gonzaga's Roberts Sacre and Gary Bell Jr. for the ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game today in Spokane. (AP Photo/Jed Conklin)

Sam Dower scored 17 points and No. 25 Gonzaga pulled away in the second half for an 80-58 win over Santa Clara on Saturday night for the Bulldogs’ eighth straight win. Freshman Gary Bell Jr. added 15 points for the Bulldogs (13-2, 3-0 West Coast Conference), who broke the game open early in the second half with an 18-0 run. The Zags have not allowed more than 65 points during their streak. Santa Clara (8-7, 0-2), which fell to 0-5 on the road with its third-straight loss, was led by Raymond Cowels III with 13 points and Brandon Clark with 12. Bell also did most of the defensive work that limited junior guard Kevin Foster, who had 36 and 29 in two games last season, to nine points — half his average/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. And: ESPN boxscore here.

Gonzaga-Santa Clara game story

About to shut down the computer at the media room in the McCarthey Athletic Center, but before I do here's my game story and Dan Pelle's photo gallery from Gonzaga's 85-76 victory over Santa Clara.

I'll be back in the morning with a day-after post.

Carter’s 20 points help GU past Santa Clara

Junior guard Marquise Carter scored 13 of his career-high 20 points in the second half and David Stockton provided a couple of momentum-turning plays as Gonzaga defeated Santa Clara 85-76 on Thursday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The victory keeps Gonzaga (18-9, 8-3 WCC) in a second-place tie with San Francisco, which defeated Portland 82-73 at the Chiles Center. The Dons visit GU on Saturday.

Kevin Foster made 5 of 5 3s en route to 18 first-half points, but he cooled off in the second half. He finished 8 of 22 from the field and scored 27 points. Santa Clara dropped to 16-12, 6-5.

Carter also had five assists. Elias Harris, after a scoreless first half, contributed 10 points and fix of his seven rebounds in the final 20 minutes. Steven Gray added 14 points.

More in about two hours.

Broncos snap GU’s nine-game winning streak

Back with the game story from Gonzaga's 85-71 loss to Santa Clara on Thursday. The unedited version is below.

I'll be back in the morning with a day-after post.

Broncos upset Gonzaga, 85-71


Kevin Foster hit four 3-pointers in the last 5:12 and finished with 36 points as Santa Clara upset Gonzaga 85-71 on Thursday at the Leavey Center.

The Broncos (11-9, 2-2) hadn’t beaten GU on their home floor since Feb., 2001. The victory ended GU’s nine-game winning streak in the series.

Foster made 11 of 20 shots, 6 of 14 3s and 8 of 10 free throws en route to his career high. Steven Gray led GU with 17 points (he made 3 of 9 FGs) and Robert Sacre had 16.

More in about two hours.


WSU’s win over Santa Clara, next-day look


Let’s see. The Cougar men’s basketball team will be taking the long flight to Hawaii today, where it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 degrees when they disembark. Here in Eastern Washington, more snow fell over night, which will mean more shoveling and more slogging through to get the Christmas shopping done. Read on.

WSU overcomes Santa Clara in OT


We’ve put together a report out of the Cougars’ come-from-behind 85-79 win at Santa Clara tonight in the first contest on a 14-day, six-game road trip. Read on for more.

WSU trails 35-29 at half


Foul trouble. Turnovers. Average shooting. It all adds up to Santa Clara building a 35-29 lead at halftime. The Broncos have hit the offensive glass hard, with a 7-2 lead in second-chance points. But the biggest Santa Clara edge in the first half? The Broncos hit 12 of 12 free throw attempts. The Cougars have just three attempts and have hit one. DeAngelo Casto has three fouls, Klay Thompson two, both coming in the first 3 minutes. He did play the final 10:46, though, without picking up a third. He leads WSU with seven points. Kevin Foster has 14 for the Broncos, who have a 20-16 edge on the glass. More at the end of the game.

WSU set to face Santa Clara


We’re going to be monitoring the Washington State game tonight from Spokane and, like a lot of you, I’ll be listening to Bud Nameck and following gametracker. Then I’ll be putting together a writeup for tomorrow’s paper. We have some thoughts, so read on.

WSU’s Capers comes into his own


Washington State’s basketball team left a snowy Eastern Washington today, headed for California and a date with Santa Clara tomorrow night in the Bay Area. Lucky sons of guns. After facing the Broncos, it’s off to Hawaii and the Diamond Head Classic in the islands. Lucky sons of guns. To get you Cougar fans ready, we have a story on the unsung hero in WSU’s 7-1 start. Read on.