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Gonzaga cruises past SMU

Gonzaga dismantled another opponent, and this one will raise some eyebrows across the college basketball landscape.

The Bulldogs roughed up No. 22 SMU 72-56 before a full house of 6,000 Monday at the McCarthey Athletic Center and a national television audience on ESPN2. GU improved to 5-4 against ranked opponents in the McCarthey Athletic Center’s 10-year history.

Senior guard Kevin Pangos made five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. He added seven assists and five rebounds. Freshman forward Domas Sabonis had 13 points and nine rebounds. Kyle Wiltjer overcame a slow start to contribute 10 points and five rebounds. Nine different Zags scored at least four points.

Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown’s Mustangs had no answers for the Zags, who piled up 20 assists and shot 45 percent from the field. SMU made just 31 percent of its shots.

No. 13 Gonzaga, which thumped Sacramento State 104-58 in the season opener, led by 10 at half and by as many as 25 in the second half.

Gonzaga came out firing from deep – 5 of 16 on 3-pointers in the first half – and retrieving a fair share of its misses. On one sequence, the Zags misfired three times before Pangos connected on a 3.

The Zags weathered first-half foul trouble on Przemek Karnowski and Sabonis with a nice contribution from reserve Angel Nunez and Wiltjer’s five points in the closing 4:05. Karnowski and Sabonis were effective, combining for eight points and seven rebounds in just 16 minutes.

GU, which entertains St. Joseph’s on Wednesday, led by 13 after a Wiltjer tip-in before settling for a 37-27 halftime edge.

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