San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - After falling as a top seed in the third round last season, Gonzaga is hoping to shock one in the third round this year.
Kevin Pangos had 26 points and Gonzaga defeated Oklahoma State, 85-77, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Pangos, who was 12-of-14 from the foul line, made all 10 of his attempts in the final 1:31 to seal the outcome.
The referees called 61 fouls, the most in a non-overtime NCAA Tournament game since 1975. Five players fouled out.
Gary Bell Jr. provided 17 points, while Przemek Karnowski added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the eighth-seeded Bulldogs (29-6), who have won six straight and will face West Region top seed Arizona in the third round on Sunday.
"We knew we were going to have to fight and we talked about being the toughest team on the floor and you know, I think for stretches of it we were, because if you don't match OK State's toughness, you don't have a chance," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said.
No. 1 seed Gonzaga fell to ninth-seeded Wichita State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament last year.
Marcus Smart, who is projected to be a high NBA Draft pick, returned for his sophomore season at Oklahoma State to make it back to the NCAA Tournament, but his Cowboys were again dispatched in the second round. OK State was a second-round loser in 2013 as a No. 5 seed.
Smart finished with 23 points on 5-of-14 shooting and 12-of-19 from the foul line to go with 13 boards and seven assists for Oklahoma State (21-13), which was 5-2 coming in since Smart returned from his three-game suspension for shoving a Texas Tech fan.
"That's not my focus right now, this team is my focus," Smart said when asked if he'd leave for the NBA Draft. "I'm still a part of this team right now. This loss is painful for us."
The Cowboys never got within less than three points in the second half.
After Kamari Murphy's layup capped a 7-0 burst to bring them within 53-50 with 11:24 to go, Bell nailed a triple and Pangos converted a steal into a layup to extend the margin back to 58-50.
A Pangos trey a few minutes later staked the Bulldogs to a 62-52 advantage and they were never seriously threatened again.
Earlier, Gonzaga raced out to a 9-0 start before a 14-2 Cowboys run later in the first half cut the deficit to 17-16.
The Bulldogs closed out the half on a 9-1 spurt and took a 43-34 lead into the locker room.