Arkansas Could Pose Match-up Problems For Bulldogs
LAHAINA, Maui (AP) - While Gonzaga didn't have much difficulty bouncing back from its first loss, coach Mark Few knows his team could be in for a tough test Wednesday.
The No. 11 Bulldogs are set to face Arkansas for the first time in the Maui Invitational's fifth-place game.
After outscoring opponents by an average of 21.8 points in opening 4-0, Gonzaga (5-1) fell 84-79 to Dayton on Monday. The Bulldogs shot 5 of 19 from 3-point range and were outrebounded 40-29, including 18-5 on the offensive glass.
Gonzaga, though, posted its most points in three years the following day with a 113-81 rout of Division II Chaminade. Sam Dower and Gerard Coleman both scored 19 while Kevin Pangos and Kyle Dranginis added 18 apiece.
The Bulldogs shot 69.7 percent, just shy of the school record of 71.8 percent set Jan. 13, 1996. Gonzaga, which went 13 of 23 from beyond the arc, is shooting 46.7 percent from long distance to rank top 10 in the country.
Few's attention now shifts to an Arkansas team that could pose matchup problems.
"They're off the charts athletic and long, and we have not done a great job keeping guys off the glass," Few said. "In less than 24 hours we're going to have to really solve that and then we're going to have to be really strong and have a fortitude about us mentally and physically to take care of the ball and to stay in attack mode."
After falling 85-77 to California in the opening round, the Razorbacks (4-1) got back on track Tuesday with an 87-73 win over Minnesota. Junior Alandise Harris led the way with 15 points in his first start as Arkansas outscored the Golden Gophers 52-33 in the second half.
"It doesn't surprise me to see he's our leading scorer in this particular game," coach Mike Anderson said of Harris, who is second on the team with an average of 15.6 points. "But the one thing he brings is a level of toughness that really just kind of transcends into your whole team."
Freshman Bobby Portis was one of four other players to score in double figures, posting 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. The Razorbacks shot 54.5 percent, going 8 of 17 from 3-point range.
"Short-term memory, that's what we talk about," Anderson said. "I was proud of our guys, the effort, and the way they finished off the game in fine fashion.
"They answered the call. I put a challenge in front of them. ... Hopefully it's a sign that we're maturing, we're growing, and understanding what it means to be a team and to play as a team."
Arkansas will need to keep a close eye on Pangos, who is averaging 23.3 points on 54.0 percent in the last four games.
The Razorbacks have dropped 15 of their last 17 against ranked foes on neutral courts.
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