No. 20 Gonzaga holds off West Virginia
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Przemek Karnowski scored a season-high 19 points, Kevin Pangos added 18 and No. 20 Gonzaga came from 10 points down to beat West Virginia, 80-76, on Tuesday night.
Gary Bell Jr. added 15 points, and Sam Dower scored 11 for Gonzaga (9-1), which won its fifth straight since a Nov. 25 loss to Dayton in the Maui Invitational.
Pangos had 11 points in the final 6 minutes as Gonzaga rallied from down 53-43, its only double-digit deficit this season.
The Bulldogs held West Virginia (6-4) to one field goal over a 7-minute stretch late in the game.
Eron Harris led the Mountaineers with 23 points, and Juwan Staten added 17 and Terry Henderson 15.
Playing on an opponent's court for the first time this season, Gonzaga matched its season low for points. The Bulldogs entered the game with the nation's best field goal percentage at 54.9 but were held to 44.3 percent (27 of 61).
Karnowski grabbed 13 rebounds as Gonzaga held a 43-36 rebound advantage.
West Virginia led 64-56 after a 3-pointer by Terry Henderson with 8:23 left, but the Mountaineers fell flat and failed to seize on an opportunity to pad their resume and get their first win over a marquee opponent.
West Virginia also lost in the past two weeks to No. 4 Wisconsin and Missouri.
Pangos hit a 3-pointer with 4:09 left to give Gonzaga the lead for good at 68-66. It was the Bulldogs' first lead of the second half.
Pangos made two more wide-open 3-pointers over the next 2 minutes, and Bell made two free throws with 1:52 left to give Gonzaga its largest lead, 76-68.
After Pangos was called for a charge into Harris, Staten hit a basket with 51 seconds left to pull West Virginia within 76-74. But the Mountaineers didn't score another field goal the rest of the game.
West Virginia has lost 13 straight times to ranked opponents.
In a loss last week at Missouri, West Virginia got off to a slow start and didn't find a rhythm until late in the game. The Mountaineers didn't let that happen against a Gonzaga team that had beaten West Virginia handily in their only two meetings in each of the past two seasons.
There were 13 lead changes in the first half. Harris scored 18 points in the half, including two 3-pointers that put West Virginia ahead 37-33 with 1:43 left .
Staten made two free throws and a driving layup to extend West Virginia's four-point halftime lead to 51-41 with 16:07 remaining.
Henderson hit two 3-pointers and a free throw to put West Virginia ahead 54-46 with 8:23 remaining.