Gonzaga Suffers First Conference Loss Since 2011
(1090 The Fan) — The weight of multiple streaks proved too much of a burden for Gonzaga, Thursday, falling to Portland 82-73, to snap a 22-game conference win streak.
Portland (10-7, 2-3) also earned its first home win over the Bulldogs since 1996 with a balanced scoring effort that saw five Pilots reach double-figures, led by Bryce Pressley who delivered 16 points and nine assists.
Alex Wintering scored 14 points and Kevin Bailey finished with 13 and three blocks for the Pilots who shot 52 percent from the field for the contest, including 8-for-14 from three-point range.
No. 22 Gonzaga (14-4, 4-1) did its best to extend the game late, starting to foul with earnest with three minutes left, but it never got closer than three possessions. The loss is the Zags’ first within West Coast Conference play since 2011.
The Pilots didn’t seem fazed by the long history of ineptitude against the Zags. Portland built a 39-31 lead after the first 20 minutes thanks to a quick start and a 13-4 run over a 5-minute stretch late in the opening half.
In the second half, the team continued its strong defensive effort, holding the Zags to 27 percent from beyond the arc as it stretched the lead to as much as 17 points.
With five minutes to play, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few had his team go to full court pressure. The pressure helped the Bulldogs cut the deficit to seven points, but two free throws from Pilots made it nine again with under a minute to play and Gonzaga was finished.
Sam Dower Jr. scored 14 points and Kevin Pangos finished with 12 and six assists to lead Gonzaga.
The Bulldogs play at Pepperdine next Thursday.
-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan
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