Following their impressive performance on Monday against San Francisco, most Gonzaga fans were curious if that night was an anomaly or a sign of a growing team. While tonight's continuation of that doesn't necessarily mean this team is a Final 4 contender, there is no doubt that things are heading in the right direction. Behind another total team effort, the Zags waxed bitter rival Saint Mary's tonight at the Kennel. Przemek Karnowski got things started on the right foot early and kept it going throughout as the big man finished with an amazing 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 blocks. He was joined in double figures by Kevin Pangos, Angel Nunez, and Kyle Dranginis.
The offensive results were very impressive but it was Gonzaga's defense tonight that truly stole the show (yes, you are reading that correctly). Beau Levesque was the only Gael to reach double figures tonight and he did most of his damage in the first several minutes of the game. In total, Saint Mary's shot 32% from the field and made just 1 of their 12 attempts from beyond the arc. That one make came very late in the game when the deficit had already reached 30 points. Speaking of insane stats, Saint Mary's didn't pick up their first assist either until the game was well decided with about five minutes remaining. Przemek Karnowski, with 7 blocks, led the defensive surge but the length of Gonzaga on the perimeter was suffocating for the Gaels who never looked comfortable in the Kennel.
While Przemek Karnowski led the way among the starting five, it was the bench that once again provided a huge spark. For the second straight game, it was Gonzaga's Big East transfers that came through. Angel Nunez was the 'wow' player of the game as he came in and attacked the rim right away on both ends of the court. Nunez finished with 13 points on 4-9 shooting from the floor. He also pulled down 8 rebounds, 3 of which were offensive. Nunez also had the play of the game with a huge drunk as he slashed to the hoop and to show that he is more athletic than me and you, he went ahead and slapped the backboard.
Kevin Pangos and Kyle Dranginis also added double figure production and Drew Barham also added 9 points of his own on 3-4 shooting from deep. If you had to nitpick one thing from tonight's game, it has to be the turnovers. Gonzaga gave the ball up 15 times tonight. It was pretty pervasive throughout the roster but Kyle Dranginis in particular struggled as he turned it over 4 times.
Next up, the Zags welcome the newest member of the WCC, the Pacific Tigers to the Kennel on Saturday. Tip for that contest is at 5pm.