After Illinois' Wooden Award candidate absolutely dominated the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Mark Few wasn't about to let it happen again tonight against Kansas State. Rodney McGruder came into the game averaging 13 points per game so far this season and was held to just four points and did not even get on the board until the nine minute mark. It was an impressive defensive display for the Bulldogs and, in all honestly, a really sloppy night for the Wildcats as Gonzaga walks away with a 68-52 victory.
Another game, another superb performance from Kelly Olynyk. The 7-footer from Canada continues to be a force offensively. Kelly finished with 20 points on 10-13 shooting and once again, did it in a number of ways. He hit several buckets in transition, made some nice low post moves, and had his fair share of finishes with authority. One of those finishes netted him a technical foul for taunting but aside from that, it was a picture perfect night for Olynyk.
With the win, Gonzaga goes to 10-1 on the season and 3-0 against the Big 12. It wasn't all perfect for the Bulldogs as the first half was an extremely sloppy affair. The Zags once again let an opponent hang around due to defensive breakdowns, particularly on the perimeter. Angel Rodriguez connected on three 3's in the first half which seemingly squashed all of Gonzaga's early momentum. After halftime, however, the Bulldogs were too much and Kansas State continued to make unforced errors. The Wildcats finished the contest with 18 turnovers and 16 made field goals. One of the big keys to the game was rebounding and the Bulldogs edged the Wildcats, 27-23.
In the end, the Zags are able to walk away with a solid nonconference win over a Big 12 team. Next up for the Zags is Campbell, which equates to basically a scrimmage but in about two weeks, this team will be tested again by the Baylor Bears and then three days later the Oklahoma State Cowboys will come calling on New Years Eve.