David Stockton: Everyone Wants a Piece of Us
UP Forward Ryan Nicholas
Gonzaga Coach Mark Few
UP Coach Reveno
Bulldog, Oregonian, Jesuit Mike Hart
Gonzaga used it great height advantage and talented shooters on Thursday night to win easily over the Portland Pilots at the Chiles Center. Final score, Gonzaga 71 Portland 49.
The 8th ranked Zags now get ready for a big time match-up on Saturday against the 14th ranked Butler Bulldogs, in a nationally televised game of the battle of the Bulldogs.
Olynyk, the 7-foot center who leads the West Coast Conference in scoring, got off to a slow start against the Pilots after two straight games with more than 30 points, scoring just one basket in the first half. He finished the night leading all scorers, posting 19 second half points and 21 for the game. The leading scorer for the Pilots, was Kevin Bailey with 16 who shot 8 for 11. Ryan Nicholas contributed a game high 8 rebounds. Kevin Pangos added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, for Gonzaga, who are now 17-1 on the season, 4-0 in the WCC. Pangos led all first-half scorers with 11 points, including his three 3-pointers, and Gonzaga was 8 of 15 from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs made nine of 21 3-point attempts for the game.
The Bulldogs have now extended their best start in school history with an eight-game winning streak. Gonzaga has not lost since falling 85-74 to then-No. 13 Illinois on Dec. 8 in Spokane.
The Pilots never really had a dog in the fight, though, trailing by as many as 21 points, getting out-muscled and out-run later in the game. The Pilots have now dropped their 19th straight game in the series with the Zags. The last time Portland claimed victory over Gonzaga came in 2003, when the Pilots won 72-68 in Spokane.
This is the highest the team has been ranked since Dec. 22, 2008, when they were No. 7.