Behind a very balanced offensive attack and a ferocious defensive performance, Gonzaga waxed the Waves of Pepperdine by a score of 82-56. Nine Zags scored tonight for the Zags, led by Kevin Pangos and Kelly Olynyk with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Also in double figures were reserves Kyle Dranginis and Przemek Karnowski who got increased playing time due to the fact that this one was over early.
Following that near loss to San Diego, it was expected that the Bulldogs would come out with renewed energy and they did just that. Defensively, the Zags had Pepperdine on their heels from the tip off. Unofficially, Pepperdine finished with more turnovers than converted field goals (20 v. 17) and shot an abysmal 36% from the floor. The Waves employ a point guard by committee strategy and it completely backfired on them as they could barely get the ball past half court on multiple occasions and made mistake after mistake.
As Saturday should be, this was simply a game when you hoped to see the Zags get out to a big lead and let the reserves play a good chunk of the game and that is exactly what happened. As I said in the first paragraph, both Kyle Dranginis and Przemek Karnowski took advantage of those minutes. Dranginis was finally able to get hot and looked great from deep. He was 4-6 from the floor (3-4 from deep) and finished with 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocked shots. For a team that is desperate for some consistent play from the small forward, it was nice to see Kyle get out and his some shots.
Loyola Marymount comes to town on Saturday. Those two teams just locked up on the last day of January and, well, it looked a lot like tonight's game with Gonzaga dominating by a score of 88-43 in Los Angeles. With that said, the stress level for that game is very close to nil. The next test is on Valentine's Day when Gonzaga travels down to Moraga to take on Saint Mary's.