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Gonzaga vs. San Diego game recap: Bulldogs doze off for a bit in win

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Gonzaga looked to be running away with the game, but then there are two halves in college basketball.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

It didn't come easily, but the Gonzaga Bulldogs put their collective nose to the grindstone and pushed past the San Diego Toreros, 60-48, on Monday night.

It was the tale of two halves and two different aspects of basketball for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga leapt to an easy 35-20 lead at halftime between a fluid offense and a stifling defense. Both of those started to go awry in the second half.

Johnny Dee started to shake loose of his defenders. Gonzaga repeatedly fouled on three point attempts. Gary Bell was called for a flagrant one foul when the force of the wind off of his elbow knocked Dee to the ground in a direction contrary to what physics would dictate. The Bulldogs went over six minutes without a single point (!!!) and San Diego trailed by nine points.

But by that time, there was only 1:37 remaining and Byron Wesley's drive to break the scoring slump was the dagger that was long coming. Despite the poor second half showing, Gonzaga wasn't really ever in danger of losing this game.

It wasn't the prettiest game, but considering that San Diego hasn't brought out the best in Gonzaga in their past three contests that wasn't much of a surprise. In the end, the Bulldogs got the win they flew down there to get, and now head back to Spokane with two of the harder away conference games notched in the win column.

  • This was the hardest game offensively the Bulldogs have churned out this year. Gonzaga shot a year worst 42.3 percent from the field. Just three players scored in double digits, which seems funny considering how this offense usually rolls. At the same time, this game had the fewest possessions for the Zags this season. So it makes sense that Kyle Wiltjer led the Zags with just 15 points.
  • Gary Bell had a rough shooting night, but let's give some credit to his defense. We can ignore him falling for Dee's three-point pump fake, because he wasn't the only one to fall victim to it. Bell terrorized Dee for much of the game. Dee had five points at the half. He finished with a game high 20 but he had to fight tooth and nail to get those.
  • In fact, let's talk a bit more about the defense. The defense has been good this year, and overall, this was the best it has been all season. San Diego shot 26.8 percent from the field and was 5-of-22 from beyond the arc. They had eight assists on 15 total field goals. San Diego isn't the best team at shooting the ball, but the last time they shot the ball this bad was in a loss against UC-Santa Barbara back in 2012.
Gonzaga gets almost a full week off before taking on Portland on the road on Saturday. It wasn't pretty tonight, but who says all wins have to be?