With a team-high 23 points Saturday night, BYU’s Tyler Haws was good. With 24 points — 21 of them in the second half — and six 3-pointers, Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos was better. A version of Pangos GU fans haven’t seen since the Maui Invitational emerged in front of a rowdy Saturday-night crowd at the McCarthey Athletic Center, as GU dispatched conference rival BYU, 84-69, on National Gonzaga Day. Pangos’ 24 points was his highest total since Nov. 27, when he posted a career-high 34 points against Arkansas in the Maui Invitational. Mixing in seven assists and four rebounds Saturday, Pangos may have put to bed any doubts about his ability to perform after a lingering toe injury. “I’m glad he’s back to hitting his shots like he normally would hit,” forward Sam Dower Jr. said. “He got his mojo going back [again], and that’s a good thing for our team.” Fellow guard David Stockton led the Bulldogs in the first half, repeatedly knifing through an energetic Cougar defense for layups. His 12 first-half points helped the Zags carry a 35-33 lead into halftime. “I thought David absolutely just carried us in the first half,” head coach Mark Few said. “He was the only one courageous enough to really make some plays.” Dower also notched 12 points in the first half, totaling 18 on the game. However, Dower and his counterpart in the Zagsfrontcourt, Przemek Karnowski, had trouble keeping the BYU rebounding effort in check. The Cougars, who are tied for fifth in the nation in rebounds per game, outrebounded the Zags, 21-14, in the first half. They hit the offensive glass especially hard, winning the offensive rebounding battle, 9-1, and finishing with 10 second-chance points in the half. “They have a great rebounding team, and we were going with our smaller lineup a lot, and they were taking advantage of that,” Few said. In the second half, GU matched BYU with 12 total rebounds and held the Cougars to four boards on the offensive end. Haws was the Cougars’ motor throughout the game, taking a game-high 15 shots — he made seven — while playing the frenzied defense that is the hallmark of head coach Dave Rose’s squad. Haws hit eight of his nine free-throw attempts and distributed his scoring almost evenly over the two halves, with 13 in the latter.
Pangos, Stockton shine as Zags best BYU
Gonzaga Bulletin | Jan 26