Day after Pepperdine

Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos, top, and Pepperdine’s Lorne Jackson chase a loose ball in the first half. (Colin Mulvany)

Well, Gonzaga took it down to the wire last night but everything worked out in the end.

No, not Gonzaga's 82-56 rout over Pepperdine that was a bit of a snoozer. The sound system at the MAC went south about 70 minutes before tipoff and the problem was fixed just in time for the announcement of the starting lineups. The band played pretty much non-stop in the hour leading up to the game, drowning out the crackling sound coming from the speakers.

The links: Game story from S-R, AP and Seattle Times, and S-R photos. Read on for my day-after post.


 

—Drew Barham on Thursday become the fourth different Zag to start at the ‘3’ position, joining Guy Landry Edi (13 starts), Mike Hart (9) and Kyle Dranginis (1).

Barham made three 3s and scored nine points to go with two boards and a blocked shot. Dranginis also made three 3s and scored 11 points. He also had three rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Hart checked in early in the first half and immediately assisted on Gary Bell Jr.’s 3-pointer. He also grabbed an offensive rebound in the closing seconds of the first half and narrowly missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“They were really packed in (a zone defense), and they were really packed down in Malibu the first time we played them,” coach Mark Few said. “They chose to sag off a lot of our guys, that’s why we went with Drew (starting).”

Dranginis had one of his best nights of the season.

“Kyle was aggressive,” Few said. “He’s playing well right now, right when we need him to play well, it’s not just with the ball, he’s being aggressive on defense, he’s being aggressive when the ball goes up. He’s looked good this week.”

Dranginis has struggled beyond the arc (6 of 24, 25 percent entering Thursday), but he made 3 of 4 against the Waves.

“It definitely felt good to see those ones go in,” Dranginis said.

Barham found out he was starting at the team’s shoot-around Thursday afternoon. He started one game as a freshman at Memphis and 10 as a sophomore. He played 25 minutes, second only to Pangos 29.

“They keep helping off the 3-man to help with our bigs,” Barham said. “The guards are doubling down when the bigs catch it. The coaches want me to space the floor so they have to stay honest, that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

Edi, who sprained his ankle a few weeks ago but played in last week’s games, was in for the last couple seconds in the first half. He played two minutes against San Diego and 16 vs. Loyola Marymount.

Asked if Edi is healthy, Few said, “Yeah, yeah.”

—Kelly Olynyk played just 19 minutes and was wearing a wrap around his lower back while seated on the bench. It didn’t appear to be serious. He was productive in his limited time with 13 points (9 of 10 FTs), four boards and four assists. He caught a long pass from Mike Hart in midair and zipped it to Sam Dower for a first-half dunk that was perhaps the highlight of the evening.

Guard Jordan Baker, who leads Pepperdine in scoring in WCC games at 14.6, was scoreless in 13 minutes. He was slowed by a back injury.

—Walk-on Brian Bhaskar made his GU debut, playing the last two minutes of the blowout alongside fellow walk-on Rem Bakamus. Both made nice passes inside to Przemek Karnowski. Bhaskar wears No. 14 but doesn’t have his name on his jersey. Bakamus is No. 15.

Enjoyed watching the replay when Bhaskar passed up an open 3-pointer, prompting TV analyst Dan Dickau to say, “Shoot it young fella … you never know when you’re going to get another one.”

Dickau holds the GU record with 256 3-point attempts in the 2002 season.

 

STATS OF NOTE

 

—Shooting percentages of Gonzaga’s last five opponents: BYU 35.6, USF 39.2, LMU 25, USD 43.3, Pepperdine 36.2.

—Gonzaga has won 24 straight over Pepperdine. The Waves have lost 15 in a row in Spokane.

—Karnowski narrowly missed his first double-double. He had 10 points and a season-high 9 boards.

—GU’s seven turnovers equaled its season low (vs. Butler).

—Pangos had four assists, four steals and no turnovers.

—GU’s FG percentage is down in conference (49.2% compared to 51.5% in nonconference games), but higher from the 3-point line (41.4% compared to 36.9%) and the FT line (75.5% compared to 67.7%).

—Barham has hit 62 percent of his 3s in WCC games, 48.5 percent overall. Pangos is at 49 percent from 3 in conference.

 

QUOTEBOOK

 

Few, on the defense: “I loved our defensive intensity … We turned them over a lot with two or three different presses in the first half.”

Barham: “When I’m open, I’m just thinking shoot it. Make sure my feet are set and let it fly.”

Few, on GU being outrebounded for the fifth time in nine WCC games and six of last 10 (Butler): “We were plus 18 at LMU a week ago and that’s a really good rebounding team. If you look at the numbers, I guess.”

Barham, on whether some teams’ zones are daring GU perimeters to shoot: “Because our bigs have been tearing it up they’re trying to get the ball out of their hands. If we can get both going (inside and outside), they’ll have no answer.”

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