Zags Sneak By Pesky USD

Sam Dower continues to impress for Gonzaga - Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't pretty, but Gonzaga maintained first place in the WCC with a win over USD.


In the immortal words of Herm Edwards, "You Play To Win The Game". Despite how ugly the performance was, Gonzaga did exactly that, with a 59-56 victory over USD. It wasn't a particularly inspiring effort, but when the night comes to an end, the Zags will still be in sole possession of first place in the WCC and have a 17-3 record.

For the second consecutive game, Sam Dower delivered efficiently on the offensive end of the court. The senior big man finished the night with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Since returning from his back injury, Dower has been a dominant force and could play his way into WCC POY contention. Przemek Karnowski added 12 points, as Gonzaga completely dominated in the paint throughout the game.

Johnny Dee put together a virtuoso performance to help keep USD in the game, leading the way with a game-high 26 points. Dee has developed into one of the more entertaining players to watch in the WCC, as he can score in a variety of ways and has the ability to score in bunches. Unfortunately, the Toreros are one of the more disappointing teams in the conference, and now have a 2-6 record in conference play.

Some other positives to take from this game include the return of Gary Bell Jr. While he was clearly a bit rusty, Bell did chip in six points and played solid defense on Dee down the stretch. Kyle Dranginis also continued to show off his versatility, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds. As he continues to produce consistently, it will be difficult for the coaches to keep Dranginis off the court.

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