Zags hold off USD 65-63
Gonzaga had its hands full with San Diego, but held on for a 65-63 victory on Saturday.
Elias Harris had 18 points and Kelly Olynyk 15. David Stockton delivered in crunch time with two assists and tear-drop from about 6 feet to help the Bulldogs stay unbeaten in WCC play at 8-0.
My unedited game story is below.
For the second straight season, Gonzaga found itself trailing
A year ago, Gonzaga scored the last eight points and 16 of the final 21 for a 65-57 win. This time it was a 12-6 closing stretch, with half of GU’s points manufactured by David Stockton. The junior guard fed Kelly Olynyk for two easy layups and then Stockton hit a floater to give Gonzaga a 65-61 lead with 58 seconds left.
“Kelly makes it easy,”
“I knew when they called that timeout they would be saying, ‘He’s passing,’ ”
“I wanted Chris (
The seventh-ranked Bulldogs (21-2 overall) won their fourth straight and reached the halfway point of the WCC season in first place with an 8-0 record. There was nothing easy about win No. 8 as the Toreros brought energy and dished out some bruises.
“It was a battle, that’s the right word,” said Gonzaga’s Elias Harris, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. “They gave us a hell of a time rebounding, they pushed us around. We really need to go back on Monday, go back to our box-outs and play with more heart and play more physical because that’s not acceptable.”
Gonzaga’s nine-point halftime lead melted away as the Toreros began dominating the offensive glass. Bulldogs coach Mark Few was called for a technical foul with 9:34 left and the USD cashed in with a pair of free throws and Johnny Dee’s 3-pointer to take a 55-53 lead.
The Zags pulled even at 59 when Gary Bell Jr. connected in the lane.
“David made a huge play on the ball screen, got in the lane and found me,” said Olynyk, who had 15 points and eight boards. “He made my job easy.”
“I just felt like we fought, that’s what we didn’t do against BYU and Saint Mary’s,” said Grier, a GU assistant for 16 years before taking the
The Zags had plenty of belief in the final minutes.
“We settled down and played with some pretty good poise,” Few said. “We’ve done that a lot this year in the last four minutes. We got the ball where we needed to and attacked the rim.”