After looking stellar for the first two games, it was only a matter of time before Gonzaga came slightly back down to Earth. The Oakland Golden Grizzlies were able to hang around for quite some time, but a big game by Kevin Pangos helped pace the Bulldogs for their third win of the season.
Gonzaga led by nine points at half, but Oakland seemed within striking distance for much of the game. A large part of that was from Oakland's stellar senior shooter Travis Bader, who did exactly what he has done against every team he plays -- drain threes. Oakland operates with a very small bench, and they got a big contribution from Mitch Baenziger, who scored 11 points. Prior to the game, Baezinger had a career total of 11 points.
It was a balanced scoring attack for Gonzaga. Four players scored in double figures, led by Pangos, who broke out of his early shooting slump, with 21 points. The offense was clicking once again as the team shot 55 percent from the field and went 11-for-20 from three-point land. Gonzaga took good shots, passing the ball for the open shot and finished with 17 assists as a team.
No game is perfect, of course. Przemek Karnowski looked stellar on offense coming out of the second half, but quickly washed that good taste out of the mouth with two dumb fouls. He hit the bench after drawing his fourth foul with over eight minutes left in the game on a needless over the back. Karnowski finished with 12 points and six rebounds and really looked like he was going to be the player of the game before hitting the bench. Right now Gonzaga can get away without much Przemek time but if this is a recurring issue later in the season, there might be some trouble.
A few quick bullet point topics:
- Gonzaga's field goal percentage on the season is 55 percent, good for seventh in the nation
- David Stockton is getting minutes and his all around hustle makes it tough to keep him off the floor. He finished the game with only three points, but had five rebounds and five assists. He played defense up until the final minute of the game like it was a two-point difference.
- Karnowski is responsible for close to 20 percent of Gonzaga's personal fouls
- Gary Bell finished with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting. His effective field goal percentage is out of this world right now.
Gonzaga's next game is against the Washington State Cougars on Thursday.