Kevin Pangos is new to the Gonzaga-Saint Mary's rivalry. With performances like Thursday's, he could be an integral player for years to come.
The freshman was 5-for-6 from long distance as part of a 27-point night, leading Gonzaga past No. 16 Saint Mary's, 73-59.
Pangos' freshman teammate Gary Bell Jr. donated 12 points, while veterans Robert Sacre and Elias Harris chipped in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
"We came out and played the way we wanted to play. We were tough, we were poised, and that's what we wanted to do," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said.
Gonzaga (19-4, 9-2 WCC) has won two straight since a loss to BYU, but still needs help to continue its streak of 11 straight league crowns. The Bulldogs still sit one game behind the Gaels in the league race.
Matthew Dellavedova led Saint Mary's (22-3, 11-1) with 20 points, while Jorden Page added 11 and Brad Waldow posted 10 points in the Gaels' first league loss. The defeat snapped a 12-game winning streak that included a 21-point waxing of these same Bulldogs back on January 12.
The two teams traded blows in the opening half, as Gonzaga opened a narrow 10-6 edge on Sacre's bucket, but Saint Mary's withstood the early emotion and claimed an advantage at 17-16 on Brad Waldow's layup. The lead grew to 20-16, but Gonzaga went on a 10-1 run to regain its footing and the lead. Pangos drained a trey and Bell made two free throws to stamp the surge.
The lead grew to as many as five down the stretch, and the Gonzaga lead stood at 34-31 at the half. The Gaels drew even at 38-38 in the early stages of the second half, but it was all downhill from there.
The Bulldogs lead became five at 45-40 on Sacre's free throw, and six quick points a few moments later pushed the advantage to double digits at 59-49 on Pangos' fourth three-pointer of the game from the left corner. Pangos again connected from long range with just over six minutes to go for a 62-51 game, and the margin reached a dozen, 65-53, when Stockton penetrated and found Harris for a bucket from in close.
"We felt good at the half and for the first 30 minutes of the game, but we didn't sustain it down the stretch," St. Mary's head coach Randy Bennett said.
Gonzaga made 52.8 percent of its shots and seven three-pointers...Saint Mary's, which came into the game shooting better than 37 percent from long distance on the season, made just 5-of-21 for 23.8 percent...Gonzaga leads the all-time series, 54-26.