Gonzaga crushes USF’s upset bid

The Associated PressDecember 31, 2013 

Gonzaga’s Angel Nunez shoots a layup against San Francisco’s Matt Christiansen in the No. 24 Bulldogs’ 69-41 win over the Dons.


SPOKANE, Wash. — With two of Gonzaga’s starters out with injuries and a third battling a foot issue, the stage was set for an upset by San Francisco. It didn’t happen.

Drew Barham scored 15 points, all on 3-pointers, as No. 24 Gonzaga beat San Francisco, 69-41, on Monday night.

Przemek Karnowski added 11 points for Gonzaga (12-2, 2-0 West Coast). David Stockton and Kevin Pangos finished with 10 points each.

“It was a full team effort,” said Pangos, who is battling turf toe and was held eight points below his scoring average. “Everyone stepped up and played a big role. Everyone contributed.”

Avry Holmes led cold-shooting San Francisco (8-6, 1-1) with 16 points. The Dons made just 26 percent of their shots, to 43 percent for the Zags. Tim Derksen and Mark Tollefsen added eight points each, while Kruize Pinkins grabbed 10 rebounds.

Gonzaga has won 20 straight conference games spanning three seasons.

Gonzaga played without starting guard Gary Bell Jr., who has a broken hand, and starting forward Sam Dower, who has an injured back. The team announced Monday that Bell, Gonzaga’s third-leading scorer at 12 points per game, will miss the next four to six weeks because of the injury that occurred in Saturday’s win over Santa Clara.

Dower, who fell hard on his back against Kansas State, is being evaluated on a day-to-day basis. He is averaging 13.8 ppg.

Players like Barham and Gerard Coleman have picked up the slack as five Zags scored in double figures. Coleman came off the bench to score 10 points.

“We knew everybody had their back,” Barham, who made 5 of 10 from 3-point range and added nine rebounds, said. “Everybody coming off the bench was going to give their best effort and what happened we could live with.”

Louisville transfer Angel Nunez, playing in just his second game since becoming eligible, had six points, five rebounds and a blocked shot in 14 minutes.

“He’s going to be a real threat,” Pangos said.

San Francisco coach Rex Walters said the fact that Dower and Bell were not playing did not impact his preparations.

“I didn’t care about that too much,” Walters said. “It was Gonzaga versus USF, and you have to play the game.”

Gonzaga scored the first seven points of the game.

The Dons have dropped 25 consecutive games against Gonzaga in Spokane, dating to their last win here in 1989.

Gonzaga 69, San Francisco 41

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