No. 13/11 MBB Wraps Four-Game Homestand With STAC

13/11 Gonzaga (3-0) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (0-2)
Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 | 6:00 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/Sirius XM Ch. 84 (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo)

Live Stats  |  Gonzaga Notes

STORY LINES

  • This game is Gonzaga’s second game of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
  • Gonzaga moved its win streak at home to 28 games with the 94-42 win over St. Joseph’s on Wednesday and set the record for largest margin of victory in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
  • Gonzaga is on a five-game regular-season win streak (last regular season loss, 69-66 at San Diego, Feb. 22).
  • St. Thomas Aquinas College plays in NCAA Division II’s East Coast Conference.

ABOUT GONZAGA

  • Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 406-100, the all-time leader in winning percentage at .802.
  • Gonzaga has now won 28 consecutive games at the McCarthey Athletic Center, a span of 711 days since losing to Illinois 85-74 on Dec. 8, 2012, the second-longest streak in the NCAA.
  • Gonzaga is 3-0 for the fourth straight season, and looking for its fourth straight 4-0 start. GU has been 4-0 six previous times under Mark Few.
  • Through it’s first two games, Gonzaga’s depth has shown its teeth, with six players averaging between 8.0 and 13.0 points per game, and two more averaging more than 6.0 per game.
  • Gonzaga’s defense has been stifling to opposing teams, limiting them to .309 from the field.
  • Gonzaga has had a different leading scorer in all three games this year (Wiltjer, Pangos, Bell).

ABOUT ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

  • St. Thomas Aquinas (pronounced a-KWEYE-nus) brings in an 0-2 record.
  • Matthew Lee leads the team in scoring, averaing 17.5 per game, while Shaquille MacFarlan averages 12.0 and Chaz Watler averages 10.0
  • The Spartans have forced opponents into 38 turnovers in two games for second-year head coach Tobin Anderson.
  • STAC has been out-rebounded by opponents on an average of 12.5 per game.
  • Just one player on the STAC roster stands taller than 6-6 (6-10 center Sam Berlin).
  • ECC Rookie of the Year (2013-14) Chaz Watler played for Jack Curran during his days at Archbiship Molloy in Brooklyn, NY, and Shaq McFarlan joins the squad from the St. Anthony’s High School Friars of Jersey City, N.J., coached by Hall of Famer Bob Hurley.

ABOUT THE SERIES

  • This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

THE KENNEL
Gonzaga hasn’t lost at home since Dec. 8, 2012 to Illinois (85-74), a streak of 28 games and span of 711 days. The 28 games is the second-longest current streak in the nation, behind only Duke’s 36-game win streak. It ranks as the fourth-longest streak in GU history, and longest since a 29-gamer from 2000-03. 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. This season marks the 10th anniversary of the first game played in the MAC, a 98-80 win over Portland State on Nov. 19, 2004.

MAKING IT RAIN
Gonzaga is averaging 10 three-pointers per game so far this season and is shooting at a .429 clip (30-70). Seven players have made at least one three, and Gary Bell Jr. leads the team with nine after his five-three-pointer outburst against St. Joseph’s.

PANGOS’ PERFECT HANDLES
Through three games, senior point guard Kevin Pangos has yet to turn the ball over, and he’s averaging 5.3 assists per game. That leaves him with a season assist-to-turnover ratio of 16:0. Not to mention, he’s also averaging a team-best 13.0 point per game, and shooting .682 (15-22) overall with a .583 mark from 3-point land.

SUFFOCATING DEFENSE
It isn’t only Gonzaga’s 90 points per game on offense that’s been impressive, its been the 52.0 points per game allowed on defense. The Zags have held opponents to .309 from the field, and .265 from behind the arc. GU has also forced 44 turnovers through three games, collected 24 steals and swatted away 13 shots.

WINDEX
Gonzaga has cleaned up on the glass through three games, holding an average of +16.7 on the boards. Collectively, the Zags have scooped up 38 offensive rebounds and 96 defensive rebounds to average 48.0 total boards per game. Conversely, their opponents are 36-58-31.3 on the glass. Newcomers Domantas Sabonis leads the way, averaging 9.3, while Byron Wesley and Przemek Karnowski each average 6.0 rebounds per game.

BENCH STRENGTH
Led by freshman Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga’s bench has proven to be a force. It has combined to score 117 points in three games with 40 in the opener vs. Sac State and the third game against St. Joseph’s. Sabonis alone has accounted for 32% of the bench production, scoring 37 of the 117.

DOMANTAS DOMINATING
Freshman Domantas Sabonis has wasted no time showing national pundits that he’s a rookie with no ceiling. Through three games, he’s the only Gonzaga player to score in double digits in all three, recorded his first double-double (10p-11r vs. St. Joe’s), and leads the team in rebounding at 9.3 per game. He’s also the son of NBA Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis.

#4EQUALS3
Follow Pangos’ road to the GU career 3-pt. record on Twitter with #4equals3. With five vs. SMU, he sits in fourth at 248, four behind Matt Santangelo 252, 32 behind Richie Frahm’s 280 and 40 behind Blake Stepp’s 288.

DEPTH FINDER
Gonzaga has shown its depth through the first two games with at least nine players scoring in each - 10 in games one and three, all with at least three points; 9 in game two, all with at least four points.

DOUBLE DIGITS X5
In the first game this season, Gonzaga had five players in double figures, a span of 22 games since the last time it happened (a 69-41 win over USF at home on Dec. 30, 2013), it only took two games for it to happen again. Five players had double figures in the win over St. Joseph’s. Bell led the way with 18 points (all in the first half).

CHASING MILESTONES
Kevin Pangos

  • Needs 41 three-pointers to break Blake Stepp’s GU career record of 288
  • Needs just 221 points to move into top 10 all-time in scoring at GU
  • Needs just 74 assists to move into top 5 all time at GU
  • Needs 22 steals to move into top 5 all time at GU

Gary Bell Jr.

  • Eclipsed 1,000 points in his career vs. St. Joseph’s to become the 38th player to do so at GU and now has 1,014 points
  • Against St. Joseph’s, moved into top 10 all-time at GU in made threes with172
  • Needs just 24 steals to move into top 10 all-time at GU

Przemek Karnowski

  • Needs just 5 blocks to move into top 10 all-time at GU

PANGOS ON WATCH LISTS
Senior guard Kevin Pangos was named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, Bob Cousy Award Watch List and the Lute Olson Award Watch List prior to the start of the season. He is one of 37 players named to the Cousy list, an award given to the nation’s top collegiate point guard. He is one of 25 players named to the Olson list, an award given to the player of the year in college basketball.

 

 


 

 

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