Big players show up in big games, and Kevin Foster did just that, unfortunately he wasn't quite as big as 7'0 Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk scored 33 points and had 10 rebounds as the Bulldogs held off a strong Santa Clara team paced by Foster's 29 points.
From start to finish it was all Olynyk, as the opening tip was tipped to Olynyk for a dunk. From there the Zags immediately got the Broncos in foul trouble and opened up an early lead. Santa Clara was able to keep it close, despite only leading for 2:41 seconds of the game. Elias Harris emphatic dunk of the Kevin Pangos assist put the Zags on top for good with over 5 minutes left in the first half.
Gonzaga struggled to contain Foster and Trasolini, but were able to contain the rest of the Broncos and coasted to an easy win. There was no match for the size and strength of Gonzaga down low.
Player Rankings after the break!
Pangos: 5 Pangos seemed to struggle with the flow in this one and was often caught off guard early when guarding Foster. Coach Few relied on Stockton to facilitate to try and get Pangos involved offensively, but it wasn't meant to be. Pangos finished just with just 6 points, 2 assists and 4 rebounds.
Bell: 7 Bell played solid throughout this game, but was his best while driving to the hoop. Played solid defense up top, without doing anything spectacular. Was cool under pressure sinking key free throws down the stretch. Finished with 12 points and 2 steals.
Hart: 6 While Hart wasn't hurting the Zags on the offensive end, and continued his impressive season without a turnover, he gambled too many times on defense allowing Santa Clara some easy baskets. Would have liked to see him body up on Foster more. Hart finished with 3 points and 5 rebounds.
Harris: 7 The Broncos couldn't keep up with Harris down low as he used his strength to muscle 14 points and draw numerous fouls. However he must have been sleeping on defense as he pulled down just 2 boards and allowed Trasolini to score at will.
Olynyk: 10 Olynyk could not be stopped. The ever efficient big man converted 12 of 15 shots and 8-9 free throws. He continues to improve as he posted a double double of 10 rebounds and 33 points. Olynyk also drew a number of fouls which caused both Atanga and Garrett to foul out.
Dower: 5 While Dower received the "Sub of the Game" award, it was more about the stats then his actual play. It appears as he has lost a lot of confidence this year coming up short on both his misses and never got into the flow of the game. Finished with 8 points and 3 boards
Stockton: 4 Stockton could not handle the Santa Clara guards. Whether on defense where he was late on numerous rotations or on offense where he was manhandled by Foster. Just not a great night for the guard, although he did have a couple of assists, one of which was a Sports Center Top 10.
Dranginis: 5 Played only 2 minutes in the first half, but looked comfortable on defense and hustled well for a rebound. Had a couple of opportunities to shoot the ball when he was open, but opted to pass. Finished with 1 foul and 1 rebound
Edi: 3 Coach Few tried to use Edi early on in the first half to guard Foster, but was outplayed and out hustled. Played only 5 minutes as Few saw that he wasn't up to the challenge. Finished with 1 foul.
Karnowski: 6 Played limited minutes and never got a chance to get comfortable due to Olynyk's big night. Got in good position to get the ball on both ends of the court and worked well in the offensive sets before coming out early. Finished with 1 rebound and 1 foul.
Foster: 8 While his numbers were huge, his efficiency was not. Missed 14 shots (one less than Olynyk took all game) but found a way to keep his team in the game. Foster was able to get to the line by playing smart basketball. His defense was spectacular as he frustrated the Gonzaga guards. Finished with 29 points, 3 steals and 3 assists.
Trasolini: 8 Trasolini gathered 6 offensive boards today while putting in 19 points. His hustle kept numerous balls alive. Defensively he managed 2 blocks and provided solid backside help, but couldn't contend with the size of Gonzaga. Finished with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks.
Cowels: 6 Cowels tried to provide Foster and Trasolini with another option on the floor and finished with 7 points on 3-7 shooting. He played solid defense throughout the game and limited Kevin Pangos. Finished with 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block and 7 points.
Roquemore: 5 Roquemore ran the offense and had game highs in assists and free throw attempts, but failed to shoot the ball effectively and often took shots out of the offense. While Trasolini and Foster are going to get their points, Roquemore will be the reason Santa Clara wins or loses games. Finished with 11 points, 7 assists and 2 turnovers.
Garrett: 2 The 7 footer took up space, but did little else to help his team tonight. He was constantly a step behind Gonzaga's bigs and failed to make any impact on the offensive end. Garrett fouled out in just 10 min of play. Finished with 2 rebounds and 5 fouls.
Atanga: 7 Atanga should have been awarded the "Sub of the Game" as he came in to back up Garrett. despite his limited minutes, Atanga worked his was to 5 offensive rebounds before he fouled out in the second half. Finished with 9 rebounds and 2 points.
McArthur: 3 McArthur played the quietest 11 minutes of basketball I have seen all year. Gave nothing on either side of the floor and finished with 1 foul.
Clark: 5 Clark tried to provide a spark for Santa Clara's shallow bench. Was unable to provide the points the Broncos needed to win the game. Clark came in with high energy and hit a couple big threes, but he had two turnovers in his limited minutes that had much more of an impact. Finished with 6 points, 2 rebounds and 2 turnovers.
Johnson: N/A Played just 1 minute and added nothing significant for either team.
Harrison: N/A Played just 1 minute and added nothing significant for either team.