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Bell's late bucket lifts No. 10 Gonzaga over Oklahoma State
Stillwater, OK (Sports Network) - Gary Bell Jr. drained the go-ahead three- pointer with 37 seconds left and the 10th-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs held on for a 69-68 win over No. 22 Oklahoma State on Monday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Bell finished with eight points, while Kevin Pangos scored a team-high 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting and handed out five assists for the Bulldogs (13-1), who have won four straight since suffering an 85-74 loss to Illinois on Dec. 8.
Kelly Olynyk did not attempt a field goal in the first half, but bounced back with 21 points in the second 20 minutes and also had nine boards in the victory.
"It was a heck of a road win for us," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "We've never experienced this place before. It's loud and the Cowboys play really hard and really inspired in here, and to withstand all the rallies and to make plays on the defensive end and get after them on the glass like we did. It was a great night for us."
Freshman Marcus Smart led Oklahoma State (10-2) with 23 points and six assists, while Markel Brown added 16 points and Phil Forte finished with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range as the Cowboys' five-game winning streak came to an end.
Smart put in a floater with 4:14 to play, putting the Cowboys up 63-60, but the home team couldn't hold the lead coming down the stretch.
The sides traded misses over the next minute-plus of action until Olynyk tipped one in to pull Gonzaga within 63-62 with 2:20 remaining.
Olynyk tipped in his own miss less than a minute later to give the Bulldogs a 64-63 lead, but Smart answered with a jumper at the other end to give Oklahoma State a 65-64 edge with 1:03 to play.
Following a timeout by the home team, Pangos caught an inbound pass at the top of the arc and drove the lane before kicking it out to a wide-open Bell, who rose up and buried the deep trey for the 67-65 Gonzaga lead.
On the ensuing Cowboys possession, Smart was fouled on the drive with eight seconds left and went to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game, but he missed both shots and Gonzaga held on for the win.
"I thought that our guys really competed and played hard," Cowboys coach Travis Ford said. "We really hung in there early when we weren't playing very well. We had some over-anxious energy early and it kind of wore us out early in the game."
Gonzaga came out of the gate on fire, hitting five of its first six shots to jump out to a 12-5 advantage less than four minutes into the game.
Le'Bryan Nash nailed a trey to stop the early run, but the Bulldogs kept putting the ball in the basket, using a quick 7-0 surge to widen the margin to 19-8 with just over 11 minutes to play in the first half.
Oklahoma State got back into the game with seven straight points, cutting the deficit to 19-15, but a 3-ball by Pangos with 6:14 left pushed the margin back to 27-18.
The Cowboys then embarked on an impressive 13-2 surge, capped by a Smart jumper with 1:43 left, to give the hosts the 31-29 lead -- their first since it was 3-0.
Pangos hit a pair of free throws with 44 ticks left to give Gonzaga a 32-31 lead at the break.
Gonzaga has won five straight games against Oklahoma State ... The Cowboys fell to 180-5 at home in non-conference play since 1987 .. The Bulldogs shot 48 percent from the floor, while the Cowboys hit 47.3 percent of their shots ... The game featured eight ties and nine lead changes ... Olynyk fouled out with eight seconds remaining in the contest.
12/31 22:17:49 ET
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