MORAGA, Calif. – Gary Bell Jr. scored 20 points and helped fuel a fast start to the second half that helped fifth-ranked Gonzaga take a stranglehold on the West Coast Conference race with a 77-60 victory over Saint Mary's on Thursday night.
Kevin Pangos added 18 points and Kelly Olynyk scored 17 for the Bulldogs (24-2, 11-0), who have a two-game lead over the Gaels (21-5, 10-2) in the loss column after sweeping the season series. Saint Mary's ended Gonzaga's 11-year run at the top of the conference by winning both the regular season and tournament titles last year.
Matthew Dellavedova scored 19 of his 22 points in the first half and Stephen Holt added 17 for the Gaels, who are still looking for that signature win to boost their chances to make the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history. Saint Mary's has won 13 of 15 games but both losses have come against Gonzaga.