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Gonzaga steps up defense to stop Santa Clara’s early run

By Michael Gulledge The Spokesman-Review

Santa Clara was not the pushover a 90-55 final score might make them out to be on Saturday when it faced unbeaten Gonzaga.

Without catalyst Nigel Williams-Goss, the Zags’ offense didn’t jump out to the early lead as has become custom. However, the Broncos’ offense started with a bang, keeping the Bulldogs on their toes to open the game.

Santa Clara drained four 3-pointers in the first 8 1/2 minutes while managing to take a 16-12 lead.

Gonzaga didn’t let the eerie feeling of a Santa Clara lead linger for a long time in the McCarthey Athletic Center, as they quickly shut down the Broncos offense, allowing Santa Clara to score only two more field goals and three free throws for the remainder of the half.

Zach Collins made two free throws to cut the Broncos’ lead to a two-point margin, but Bryan Albert’s 3-point basket gave Gonzaga back its lead.

Following Albert’s 3-pointer, Zach Collins made a jumper and Przemek Karnowski had a layup to pad the Zags’ lead.

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