For the second straight game, the Gonzaga Bulldogs were able to pull away in the closing minutes, improving to 2-0 on the season with an 89-81 victory over Washington State.
Despite never leading in the second half, the Cougars were able to hang around until the end, even though Gonzaga seemed poised to pull away at times. The Bulldogs' lead reached as much as 16 and dwindled to as little as three in the second half.
Kevin Pangos, a freshman from Newmarket, Ontario, led the way for the Bulldogs, posting 33 points, six assists and two rebounds. Pangos was 9-for-13 from three-point range, tying Dan Dickau's Gonzaga record for most three-point field goals in a game. Pangos showed why he is one of the most underrated freshmen this season.
Another Bulldog freshman, Gary Bell Jr., also had a big game. Bell had 14 points and looked very comfortable for the first time this season.
Gonzaga won the battle of the boards, grabbing 13 offensive rebounds and 39 total—compared to Washington State's nine offensive, and 30 total rebounds. Robert Sacre and Elias Harris both had double-doubles. Sacre had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Harris had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Washington State was able to stick around with some timely three-point shooting and a good performance from big man Brock Motum, who had 17 points and eight rebounds. The Cougars shot 9-for-20 from three, and Davonte Lacy was able to hit back-to-back threes to trim the deficit to four with three minutes to go.
In the end, Gonzaga's size and hot-shooting freshmen were too much for Washington State. Gonzaga plays the University of Hawaii next on November 19th in Vancouver, B.C. Washington State plays Sacramento State on November 17th at home.