Gonzaga Bulldogs Survive Southern Jaguars in Second-Round Thriller

Thad NovakCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 21:  Kelly Olynyk #13 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs shoots over Malcolm Miller #33 of the Southern University Jaguars in the first half during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at EnergySolutions Arena on March 21, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Top-seeded Gonzaga breathes a sigh of relief after escaping from the Southern Jaguars by a 64-58 margin. The 16th seeds were in it right up to the final minute, but couldn't quite hit enough three-pointers to close the deal.

Kelly Olynyk had a phenomenal second half to finish with 21 points and 10 rebounds, but it was Kevin Pangos who hit the biggest shots down the stretch for the favorites. Gonzaga's biggest advantage turned out to be on the glass, where it outrebounded the Jaguars by a commanding 36-20 margin.

Southern got a terrific second-half effort of its own from senior scoring leader Derick Beltran, who finished with 21 points himself (including 4-for-8 three-point shooting). Credit goes as well to big Brandon Moore, whose four blocks highlighted a valiant defensive effort by the Jaguars.

Olynyk and the Zags move on to face Wichita State, which beat the daylights out of Pittsburgh earlier today. If the Shockers' defense gives Gonzaga as much trouble as Southern's did, that game is going to be a classic.