No. 3/2 Zags Close Regular Season with BYU
No. 3/2 Gonzaga hosts BYU on Saturday night inside the McCarthey Athletic Center. The tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
3/2 Gonzaga (29-1, 17-0) vs. BYU (22-8, 12-5)
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 | 7 p.m. (PT) | McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | Spokane, Wash.
TV: ESPN2 (Beth Mowins, Stan Heath)
Gonzaga IMG Radio Network: KGA 1510/TuneIn App (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo)
WatchESPN | Live Stats | Gonzaga Notes | BYU Notes
*Live video subject to blackout.*
- Last time out: Gonzaga shook off a 22-point first half to outscore visiting San Diego by 15 in the second half on the way to a 59-39 win. Four Zags scored in double figures, including a team-high 14 points and eight rebounds from Przemek Karnowski.
- GU earned its first-ever 17-0 start to WCC play, and will be looking to post the first-ever 18-0 league record in West Coast Conference history.
- Gonzaga has won 22 straight games overall, a school record. The previous record was 20 which was done twice -- 2003-04 and 2005-06.
- Gonzaga has also won 22 straight games over WCC opponents dating back to last season.
- Gonzaga is one of two teams in NCAA in the top 20 of both FG% offense and FG% defense.
- GU will celebrate Senior Night honoring seniors Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr., and Byron Wesley.
- Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 432-101, the NCAA all-time leader in winning percentage at .811.
- Gonzaga’s balanced scoring attack is led by Kyle Wiltjer’s 17.0 points per game. He’s among six Zags that average at least 8.2 ppg.
- Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in field goal shooting in the nation at .527 (next closest is .508).
- The Zags rank No. 5 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.58), No. 11 in assists/game (16.6) and No. 13 in scoring offense (79.0).
- The Zags are also 16th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.382).
- Head coach Dave Rose is second all-time at BYU in career wins with a record of 254-86, which also ranks him 9th all-time in the NCAA in winning percentage at .747.
- The 22-8 Cougars are winners of five in a row, including their last two road games.
- Reigning WCC Player of the Year, Tyler Haws has continued to show his knack for putting up points, averaging a league-leading 22.3 points per game.
- Anson Winder (14.3), Chase Fischer (13.0) and Kyle Collinsworth (13.3) all average at least 13.0 points per game. Collinsworth has had an NCAA record five triple-doubles this year.
ABOUT THE SERIES
- Gonzaga is 7-3 all-time against BYU — 2-2 in Provo, 3-0 in Spokane and 2-1 on neutral floors.
- The Zags defeated the Cougars earlier this year in Provo, 87-80.
GETTING BACK TO DEFENSE
Against San Diego on Thursday night Gonzaga put together the best defensive effort in the history of the McCarthey Athletic Center, allowing just 39 points. That mark is also tied for the ninth-fewest points allowed in a game in GU history. The Zags held San Diego to .296 from the field, marking the sixth time this year they’ve held a team under a .300 shooting percentage.
WCC REGULAR SEASON CHAMPS
Just as the league’s coaches had predicted at the season’s start, Gonzaga took the outright regular season crown. It was the Zags’ third title in a row, 14th in the last 15 years, 16th in the last 18 years, and 18th overall. Fourteen have come under with head coach Mark Few at the helm.
Gonzaga hasn’t lost at home since Dec. 8, 2012 to Illinois (85-74), a streak of 41 games and span of 809 days. The 41 games is the longest current streak in the nation and 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 after winning the final 12 in the Martin Centre.
THE KENNEL - WCC VERSION
Gonzaga also owns a 36-game conference home winning streak that dates back to a 73-71 loss to Saint Mary’s on January 27, 2011. Of those 36 games, only five have been decided by single digits with only three decided by five points or less.
- Nation’s longest current home court win streak - 41 games
- Tied for nation’s longest current road win streak - 10 games
- Nation’s second-longest current conference win streak - 22 games
- Nation’s third-longest current overall win streak - 22 games (school record)
- West Coast Conference home win streak - 36 games
PANGOS IS EVERYWHERE
With his 500th assist at Saint Mary’s last Saturday, he became the only player in school history to amass at least 1,700 points, 500 assists and 150 steals. His 1,736 points rank sixth, his 504 assists rank fifth and his 164 steals rank fifth all-time at Gonzaga.
Senior point guard Kevin Pangos has played more minutes than anyone at GU in the last four years and has been in the starting lineup in every game except one - the first one. Pangos came off the bench in his first career game as a freshman and has started every game since. That’s 134 games played and 133 starts. This season, Pangos also leads the WCC in minutes with 982:00.
WILTJER’S CRAFTY OFFENSE
On a team as balanced as Gonzaga is offensively, junior Kyle Wiltjer has been the unrivaled scoring leader with his variety of offensive skills. He’s shooting 54% from the field, 47% from behind the arc and 80% from the free throw line, while averaging a team-best 17.0 points per game. Over the last five games, he’s been even better, averaging 20.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and shooting 54% overall and 54% from behind the arc. More on Wiltjer’s scoring habits:
- Led team in scoring 14 times
- Team-high 24 double-figure games
- Team-high 11 20-plus games
- Single-game team season-high of 45 points (at Pacific)
- Scored 20-plus in three straight games on two separate occasions
Against Pacific last Thursday, Kyle Wiltjer put together the best Zag scoring game in more than five decades with his 45-point effort. He knocked down 15-of-22 from the field, including 7-of-10 from behind the arc. His 45 points were the third-best in school history, and most since Frank Burgess scored a school-record 52 in 1961. It also topped Adam Morrison’s 44-point night against LMU on Feb. 18, 2006. He followed that up with a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double two nights later.
MOST WINS EVER
Gonzaga’s four-year senior duo of Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. are rewriting the records books with each victory. Against Pepperdine, the pair became the winningest senior class in program history with their 113th win, besting last season’s senior class win total of 112. If attributing wins directly to players that played in those games (Pangos played in all 134), Kevin Pangos is tied with Wichita State’s Tekele Cotton for most wins by an active senior with 116 (against just 18 losses.)
Gonzaga is just one of three teams nationally that has had a lead of at least 6 points every game this season (Kentucky, Baylor).
As a team, Gonzaga has been one of the best in the country at making the extra pass. So far this season, the Zags have gotten an assists on 58% of their made baskets. Comparatively, Zag opponents have gotten assists on only 47% of their field goals.
OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
Gonzaga is one of only two teams in the nation to rank in the top 20 in field goal percentage offense and field goal percentage defense. The Zags have the nation-leading mark on the offensive side at 52.7 percent (the next closest is Notre Dame at 50.8) and rank 16th on the defensive side, holding teams a paltry 38.2 FG percentage. SMU is 10th in field goal percentage and 9th in field goal percentage defense.