Guards propel Zags past Waves

The Associated PressFebruary 14, 2014 

Gonzaga guard David Stockton (11) is fouled from behind by Pepperdine’s Atif Russell during the first half of the Zags’ 83-68 victory Thursday night in Spokane. Stockton finished with 18 points.

COLIN MULVANEY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

SPOKANE — Kevin Pangos and David Stockton scored 18 points apiece as Gonzaga beat Pepperdine for the 26th consecutive time, 83-68, on Thursday night.

It’s Gonzaga’s longest streak against any team.

Przemek Karnowski had 17 points and seven rebounds for Gonzaga (22-4, 12-1 West Coast Conference), and Kentridge High School graduate Gary Bell Jr. scored 11 points.

Pangos made four of Gonzaga’s 10 3-pointers, and fellow guard Stockton had five assists and three steals to help the Bulldogs rebound after a 60-54 loss at Memphis on Saturday.

Stacy Davis scored 14 points for Pepperdine (14-12, 7-7), which was looking to rebound after an overtime loss to Saint Mary’s in its previous game. Brendan Lane and Nikolas Skouen each had 12 for the Waves.

Pepperdine last beat the Bulldogs on Jan. 18, 2002, and hasn’t won in Spokane since the 1997-98 season.

Pepperdine had three turnovers and managed just two points in the first three minutes of the second half and trailed 50-36 after four consecutive Bell points.

But the Waves turned it around with a 15-4 run, highlighted by a four-point play by Skouen and a three-point play by Jett Raines, to pull within 54-50.

Stockton ended the stretch with a momentum-changing 3-pointer.

Karnowski scored seven points during a 13-2 Gonzaga run and had a nice assist for a Sam Dower Jr. layup as the Bulldogs built a 72-57 lead with 7:11 left.

Gonzaga wouldn’t allow Pepperdine to score more than four consecutive points the rest of the way.

Pepperdine missed its first four 3-pointers of the game, while Gonzaga made three in a row, two by Pangos, to take an early 21-13 lead. Gonzaga made six of its first seven 3-pointers, but the Waves had answers, making 12 of its first 22 field-goal attempts and trailed, 33-27.

Stockton’s layup, his ninth point of the half, gave Gonzaga its biggest lead in the first 20 minutes at 40-29. Pepperdine only allowed two Gonzaga points in the final two minutes of the half and could have trimmed its 42-34 halftime deficit had it not missed four free throws in the final three minutes.

Both teams shot more than 50 percent in the first half, with the difference coming beyond the arc. Gonzaga made 7 of 14 3-pointers, while Pepperdine made just 3 of 12.

The Zags did not allow a Waves run of more than five points in the opening half.

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