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(Thursday, January 2nd)
Final Score: (24) Gonzaga 73, Saint Mary's 51
Spokane, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Przemek Karnowski and Kevin Pangos each scored 15 points as 24th-ranked Gonzaga rolled to a 73-51 victory over West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's at McCarthey Athletic Center.
Karnowski added nine rebounds and a career-high seven blocks in leading Gonzaga (13-2, 3-0 West Coast) to a third straight win to open their conference schedule. Pangos pulled down eight boards in the rout, with Angel Nunez grabbing eight rebounds as well in addition to a 13-point effort.
"I was happy I was able to give my effort for the team," said Karnowski.
With head coach Randy Bennett continuing to serve a five-game suspension for a recruiting violation, Saint Mary's (10-4, 1-1) shot just 1-of-12 from 3-point range and was outrebounded by a 39-22 margin in the lopsided result.
Beau Levesque was the lone Gael to score in double figures, netting 12 points in Saint Mary's fourth loss in five games following a 9-0 start.
The Bulldogs broke open a close game by putting together an 18-4 run over the final 7:39 of the first half, with the spurt sending Gonzaga into the break owning a comfortable 36-22 advantage.
"We took a really good basketball team and guarded them great," said Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. "It was probably our best all-around effort of the whole year."
Drew Barham knocked down a pair of 3-pointers during the surge, the last staking Gonzaga to a 28-18 lead with five minutes left in the period, and the Bulldogs' defense forced Saint Mary's to miss nine of its 10 attempts from the field over the pivotal sequence.
The Gaels got as close as 12 points down, most recently with 13:48 to go, but Pangos buried triples to start and end an 11-2 stretch that put Gonzaga up by a 54-33 count nine minutes into the second half.
Saint Mary's, which managed only a 32 percent success rate for the game, went without a field goal for a stretch of more than eight minutes more than eight minutes after the break as the Bulldogs continued to stretch the margin. The lead swelled to 30 points after Karnowski sunk a pair of free throws to make the score 68-38 with under five minutes left.
The Bulldogs won big despite the absence of two of their top three scorers, with center Sam Dower missed a third straight game with a bruised hip and guard Gary Bell Jr. breaking his hand in last Saturday's win over Santa Clara ... Bennett also missed Saint Mary's conference opener, an 88-80 triumph at Pacific on Monday ... Gonzaga has won 21 straight against West Coast Conference foes since falling to the Gaels in the 2012 league tournament ... The two programs have finished first and second in the WCC over the past 10 seasons, with the Bulldogs claiming the conference title in nine of those years.
01/03 01:29:58 ET
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