No. 3/3 Zags Put Win Streaks On Line Vs. Pacific
Third-ranked Gonzaga puts some impressive win streaks including the nation's longest current home streak on the line on Saturday when they host Pacific at 5 p.m. on KHQ and ROOT Sports.
3/3 Gonzaga (19-1, 8-0) vs. Pacific (10-10, 2-6)
Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 | 5:00 p.m. (PT) | McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | Spokane, Wash.TV:
KHQ/ROOT Sports (Greg Heister, Richard Fox, Dan Dickau)Gonzaga IMG Radio Network:
KGA 1510/TuneIn App (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo) Video: WatchESPN/TheW.tv | Live Stats | Gonzaga Notes
Online streaming is subject to blackout.
- Last time out: Gonzaga turned a six-point halftime lead into a 21-point win in a clash of WCC unbeatens with Saint Mary’s. In a 68-47 win, the Zags were spurred by a 24-4 second-half run that sealed it. Kevin Pangos led the way with 14 points and five assists.
- Gonzaga earned its eighth 8-0 start to West Coast Conference play in the Mark Few era, and will be looking for its sixth 9-0 start under Few.
- The win was Gonzaga’s 12th straight overall and 13th straight over WCC opponents.
- GU has won 35 games in a row at home, the nation’s longest active home winning streak, dating back to Dec. 8, 2012, a span of 778 days.
- The Zags have also won 31 straight WCC home games, dating back to a 73-71 loss to Saint Mary’s on January 27, 2011.
- Mark Few’s won his 200th-career WCC game at Pepperdine last Thursday (now 202-24, .894). He’s the only coach in league history to reach 200 WCC wins.
- Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 422-101, the NCAA all-time leader in winning percentage at .807.
- Gonzaga’s balanced scoring attack is led by Kyle Wiltjer’s 16.3 points per game. After that, five more players average between 8.3 and 12.6 points per game.
- Gonzaga is the No. 1 field goal shooting team in the nation at .530.
- The Zags are also ultra efficient in taking care of the ball ranking No. 4 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.61), No. 9 in assists per game (17.3) and No. 13 in scoring offense (81.2).
- The Zags are in the top two the West Coast Conference in 21 team statistical categories.
- Head coach Ron Verlin second year at Pacific after going 18-16, 6-12 WCC last season.
- TJ Wallace and Dulani Robinson lead the way for the Tigers. Wallace averages 13.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, while Robinson averages 10.4 and 3.0.
- The Tigers have a +3.6 rebounding edge on their opponents and are making 6.6 three pointers per game.
ABOUT THE SERIES
- Gonzaga is 5-1 all-time against Pacific and has won three games in a row.
- The Zags swept Pacific last season, with only series loss coming on the road in 1977.
Gonzaga hasn’t lost at home since Dec. 8, 2012 to Illinois (85-74), a streak of 35 games and span of 778 days. The 35 games is the longest current streak in the nation after Duke’s 41-gamer was broken by Miami last week. It is also the second-longest streak in school history. The school record is 50 from 2003-2007, which includes the McCarthey Athletic Center opening in 2004. The Zags won their first 38 games in their new building. The 10th anniversary of the first game played in the MAC was on Nov. 19, 2004, a 98-80 win over Portland State.
PANGOS LEAVING HIS MARK
Senior guard Kevin Pangos continued his assault on the Gonzaga all-time top 10 lists against LMU. In that game alone, he moved into second at GU in three-pointers, fifth in assists and tied for 10th in points. See page eight for updated all-time rankings.
THE KENNEL - WCC VERSION
Gonzaga also owns a 31-game conference home winning streak that dates back to a 73-71 loss to Saint Mary’s on January 27, 2011. Of those 31 games, only four have been decided by single digits with only three decided by five points or less.
THE NATION’S BEST
When it comes to putting the ball in the basket, no team in the nation has done it at a higher rate this season than Gonzaga. The Zags have an NCAA best .530 field goal percentage thanks in large part to its big men. Freshman forward Domantas Sabonis leads the team at .726 and junior center Przemek Karnowski is shooting .605.
Gonzaga is off to the best start to a season in program history at 19-1. The previous best was a 17-1 mark from the 2012-13 season. As for league play, at 8-0 the Zags are tied for the best start through eight games. They’ve achieved an 8-0 record seven previous times.
SABONIS PERFECT FROM FIELD
Last week at Pepperdine, freshman Domantas Sabonis was a force in the paint going a perfect 9-for-9 from the field. Dating back to his last field goal in GU’s previous game and his first field goal against LMU following Pepperdine, he made 11 in a row. That’s his second double-digit streak of made field goals this season. Earlier this year, he made 13 consecutive field goals over the course of nearly four games. He made his final FG attempt against UGA, then went 6-for-6 against St. John’s and 6-for-6 against Southeastern Louisiana before missing in the second half at Arizona.
Freshman Domantas Sabonis has turned up his game over the last five for Gonzaga. In that span, he’s averaging a double-double of 10.4 points and 10.2 rebounds and shooting .759 (22-for-29). He dropped in 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds at Pepperdine after posting 11 points and 9 rebounds against Santa Clara. He ended the weekend with nine points and eight rebounds against LMU.
Special thanks to Grantland college basketball writer Mark Titus for the “Low Bloc” nickname suggestion for the combo of Domantas Sabonis (Lithuanian) and Przemek Karnowski (Polish). The Zag pair has been nearly unstoppable when catching the ball in the paint. In the last eight games (all WCC contests), they are shooting a combined .731 from the field (68-for-93) and combining to grab 13.2 rebounds per game.
WILTJER SCORING AT WILL
Gonzaga started the year with five different leading scorers in its first six games, but over the last 14 Kyle Wiltjer has been the top scorer eight times, including four 20-point games with the most recent coming a 24-point effort at Pepperdine. He’s had double digits a team-best 16 times and has a team-leading 16.3 points per game. Wiltjer also posted a team season-high 32 points earlier this year against Georgia in Madison Square Garden in the NIT Season Tip-Off Semifinal. In WCC play, Wiltjer has continued his steady play, averaging 15.6 points per game in league contests to go along with 5.4 rebounds per game and 2.4 assists per game.
MAKING IT RAIN
- Gonzaga leads the WCC and is ranked No. 14 in the nation in 3FG% at .402.
- GU has made at least four three-pointers in every game, is averaging 7.2 per game.
- Gonzaga has made at least 10 threes in a game six times this season.
- Ten players have made at least one three.
- Kevin Pangos leads the team with 44 threes and is shooting .463, second-best in WCC.
- A GU player has made five threes in a game four times this season (Pangos 3, Bell Jr. 1).
PANGOS LIGHTING UP THE LEAGUE
In eight West Coast Conference games, Kevin Pangos has been about as good as it gets. He’s averaging 15.1 points and 5.1 assists per game. Not to mention, he’s shooting .511 (23-45) from behind the arc. He has 41 total assists in those six league games against just 10 turnovers, a 4.1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Follow Kevin Pangos’ road to the GU career three-point record on Twitter with #4equals3. With two more against Saint Mary’s on Thursday, Pangos’ total climbed to 285, second-best all-time at GU. That leaves him just three behind Blake Stepp’s 288. Pangos ranks second nationally among active career three-point leaders, behind USD’ s Johnny Dee.
GONZAGA BIGS LIGHTS OUT
The combination of Kyle Wiltjer, Domantas Sabonis, Przemek Karnowski and Angel Nunez is shooting a collective .601 from the field at 322-for-536. The group has also combined to score 40.9 points per game. Sabonis would rank at the top of the NCAA list, but does not have enough made field goals to qualify for the NCAA statistical minimums (5 made per game). He does qualify to rank at the top of stat lists from the West Coast Conference and from ESPN.com.
Here’s the individual season breakdown:
Kyle Wiltjer - 127-236 (.538), 16.3 ppg
Przemek Karnowski - 95-157 (.605), 10.7 ppg
Domantas Sabonis - 77-106 (.726), 9.8 ppg
Angel Nunez - 23-37 (.622), 3.8 ppg