Monday, December 31, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Gonzaga 69, Okla. St. 68
By Jason King
Overview:Kevin Pangos scored 23 points (18 in the first half) and Kelly Olynyk added 21 to lead Gonzaga to a 69-68 victory over Oklahoma State on New Year's Eve at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Gonzaga took a 67-65 lead on Gary Bell's 3-pointer with 35.7 seconds remaining. Marcus Smart was fouled by Olynyk on the Cowboys' ensuing possession, but the freshman missed both free throws with 9 ticks left. A pair of foul shots by Pangos made it 69-65 with 4 seconds left. Oklahoma State's Phil Forte made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to round out the scoring.
What it means: No. 10 Gonzaga improved to 13-1 with the victory, including a 5-0 mark against Big 12 teams. The 22nd-ranked Cowboys saw their five-game winning streak snapped and fell to 10-2.
Turning point: Bell's 3-pointer changed the game. It came after Pangos penetrated into the lane, drew help and then fired a pass to his teammate, who was wide open on the left wing. Bell's shot hit all net.
Player of the game: Pangos may have led the Zags in scoring, but it was Olynyk who came through the biggest in the decisive second half. The 7-foot Canadian scored 12 straight points late in the game to keep his team in it. All 21 of his points came after halftime.
Stat of the game: Gonzaga out-rebounded Oklahoma State 33-18.
Observations: When it's packed, Gallagher-Iba Arena is one of the toughest road environments in the country. The Cowboys have defeated a ranked team at GIA for 14 straight years, although Saturday marked the first time since 1989 that a ranked non-conference foe visited the building ... Billionaire Oklahoma State booster T. Boone Pickens purchased 4,000 tickets to Saturday's game and gave them away free to Cowboys fans.
Up next: Oklahoma State opens Big 12 play against Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan. Gonzaga plays its first West Coast Conference game Thursday at Pepperdine.