If close wins build character, No. 9 Gonzaga has all it needs by now.
Kelly Olynyk scored 31 points and the Bulldogs held off a furious comeback by Saint Mary's to win 83-78 on Thursday night in the latest installment of one of the best rivalries on the West Coast.
''It would be nice to get some 30- or 40-point blowouts,'' Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. ''We've been in enough close games.''
Kevin Pangos added 22 points for Gonzaga (16-1, 3-0 West Coast Conference), which has won seven straight since losing at home to Illinois.
''They've done a heck of a job to get to 16-1,'' Few said of his team. ''We've had emotional game after emotional game after emotional game.''
It was Olynyk's second consecutive 30-point game, the first time a Gonzaga player has done that since Adam Morrison in 2006.
Stephen Holt led Saint Mary's (12-4, 1-1) with 23 points.
Gonzaga led by 20 early in the second half but had to stave off a rally by the Gaels.
''We played fantastic in the first half,'' Few...