Strong second half lifts Gonzaga over Kansas State
Seattle, WA – Kelly Olynyk scored 20 points on 10-of-13 shooting and the No.14 Gonzaga Bulldogs used a strong second half to take a 68-52 decision over the Kansas State Wildcats in the 10th annual State Farm Battle in Seattle.
Elias Harris chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs (10-1), who bounced back after their first loss of the season to Illinois. Gary Bell Jr. contributed with 11 points in the win.
"Other than a couple of bonehead plays that's kind of how he's been," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of Olynyk's performance. "He's a smart player and one that can hurt you in a lot of ways."
Kansas State (7-2) was outscored 41-26 in the second half after hanging tight with Gonzaga through the first 20 minutes.
Angel Rodriguez was the only Wildcat in double-figures. He scored 14 points, but shot a poor 4-of-11 from the field, as Kansas State saw its brief two-game winning streak come to an end.
"That's about as good a defense I've seen a Gonzaga team play," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber admitted.
Will Spradling drained a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining to pull the Wildcats to within 27-26 to cap a closely contested first half.
However, the Bulldogs emerged from halftime intent on creating separation and scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 36-26 lead.
Martavious Irving then buried a triple before Adrian Diaz connected on a pair of free throws to bring Kansas State back to within five points, but Guy Landry Edi knocked down a shot from long distance to cap a 7-0 spurt for Gonzaga, putting them back ahead by double-digits for good.
Gonzaga led by as many as 21 points before the final buzzer.
Kansas State had won the previous two matchups between the two schools ... The Bulldogs improved to 6-4 all-time at the Battle in Seattle event ... Harris eclipsed 800 rebounds for his career, making him the fifth Bulldog to accomplish the feat.