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Gonzaga Bounces Back Against Pepperdine

It wasn't easy but Gonzaga was able to get by the Waves tonight, 83-68

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

In their second to last home game of the season, Gonzaga had a pretty tough task: bounce back after dropping the biggest game of the season in heartbreaking fashion.  While the full 40 minute result wasn't exactly a thing of beauty, the Bulldogs did what mattered most and collected a win against the Pepperdine Waves.  Rather than the typical recap, let's just walk through a few bullet points of some things I noticed tonight:

  • A big key for the Zags getting out to an early lead was its dedication to owning the glass in the first half.  Mark Few's club did not allow an offensive rebound in the first half and finished with a 35-29 total rebounding advantage.  While they slipped up a bit in the second half and allowed 7 offensive boards, their effort in the first half was crucial after getting dominated by Memphis in the game before.
  • Not to continue bringing up the Memphis game but Przemek Karnowski continues to play at a high level since that contest.  As the commentators pointed out during this game, Karnowski is maturing before our eyes and is become a vocal force on this team.  His play is backing up his talk as well as he finished the game with 17 points on 8-10 shooting from the floor.  He added 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
  • When the Zags were tested tonight by the Waves, it felt like David Stockton was really the one making plays and getting the motor started again.  I've been critical of Stockton's overall role on this team but tonight it was clear that he wants his final few games in the Kennel to be memorable.  He finished with 18 points on the night and was actually shorted 3 points on a poor call.
  • It was good to see Gonzaga's dynamic duo come to a little life tonight.  Kevin Pangos was fantastic early and finished with 18 points on 6-14 shooting from the floor.  He was hitting shots that we have grown accustomed to seeing in the past and it was almost like he was back at full health.  His counterpart Gary Bell, who has really struggled as of late and has been very passive, showed some aggression in the second half.  He finished with 11 points on 3-8 shooting most of which came in the second half.
  • The second half woes continued again tonight as the Waves closed the lead down to as little as five points in the second half but Przemek Karnowski, Gary Bell, and the rest of the Zags really fought through to make sure the Memphis loss didn't cost this team two games.