No. 25 Gonzaga 82, Santa Clara 60

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 07, 2012
Sam Dower scored 17 points and No. 25 Gonzaga pulled away in the second half for an 80-58 win over Santa Clara on Saturday night for the Bulldogs' eighth-straight win. Freshman Gary Bell Jr. added 15 points for the Bulldogs (13-2, 3-0 West Coast Conference), who broke the game open early in the second half with an 18-0 run. The Zags have not allowed more than 65 points during their streak. Santa Clara (8-7, 0-2), which fell to 0-5 on the road with its third-straight loss, was led by Raymond Cowels III with 13 points and Brandon Clark with 12. Bell also did most of the defensive work that limited junior guard Kevin Foster, who had 36 and 29 in two games last season, to nine points - half his average. Foster, who is third in the nation in 3-pointers at 3.8 a game missed all four of his attempts. He had nine 3-pointers in Spokane last year. Santa Clara scored the first 10 points of the game, the first eight by CowelI, who had consecutive 3-pointers, before Bell made a layup for Gonzaga almost 5 minutes in. A six point run fueled by Marquise Carter, two short baskets around an assist to Robert Sacre, pulled the Bulldogs back into the game. The Broncos, behind Cowels' 10 points, led the entire first half until Dower's 3-pointer with 37 seconds left gave the Bulldogs a 28-26 lead at the break. Dower had 11 at the half, which closed with Santa Clara in scoring drought of 4:25. Three free throws by Foster a minute into the second half gave Santa Clara its last lead at 31-30 but Gonzaga reeled off 18 straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Kevin Pangos, who finished with 10 points and five assists. The Broncos, scoreless for 5:55, missed eight straight shots while the Bulldogs were making six of seven. That stretched into a 26-4 run, capped by a fast break layup by David Stockton, for a 21-point lead at 56-35 at the 10:04 mark.
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