Turning point: Southern kept things interesting early, shooting 47.8 percent in a first half that saw the lead change three times.
Gonzaga finally appeared to pull away with a 11-0 run roughly midway through the second half that included eight points from 7-footer Kelly Olynyk until the Jaguars erased it with a 13-2 Derick Beltran-led run of their own, tying the game 54-54 with 4:08 left on two free throws from Brandon Moore. After a 3-pointer, followed by a 3, followed by a 3, Beltran cut Southern’s deficit to 59-58 with two free throws. But Zags guard Kevin Pangos hit a 3 to give his team what finally became enough of a cushion.
Key player(s): Olynyk finished with 21 points for Gonzaga, and Pangos added 16.
Beltran scored 21 for Southern.
Key stat: Southern made 10 of 23 3-pointers (43.5 percent) to keep things close.
Up next: The top-seeded Zags will play No. 9 seed Wichita State in the round of 32 on Saturday. Game times have not yet been announced.