Gonzaga (28-6) enters the west bracket as the # 8 seed and Oklahoma State (21-12) enters as the # 9 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga is another team that is riding a high right now as they had just won their 13th West Coast Conference Championship. They are led by a pair of guards in junior Kevin Pangos who leads the team in points per game (14.6) second in assists (3.9) and third in steals (1.1) and senior David Stockton who leads in assists (4.1) and steals (1.6). Senior forward/center Sam Dower is also counted on as he leads the team in rebounds (7.0) and field goal percentage (61.1%). Junior guard Gary Bell, Jr. is one to watch as is sophomore center Przemek Karnowski and both score in the double digits.
Oklahoma State and head coach Travis Ford have had an up and down year but have done more than enough to make the tournament. This team will rely heavily on guards and one in particular, sophomore Marcus Smart. Marcus leads the team in scoring (17.9 pts), assists (4.7) and steals (2.7). Senior guard Markel Brown is second on the team in scoring and assists (17.2 pts., 3.0 ast.) and junior guard Le’Bryan Nash is third in scoring (14.2) and second in rebounding (5.7).
Gonzaga came out on fire and took an early lead that they never relinquished in the first half. Gary Bell, Jr. hit two three’s within the first minute of the game and he led his team with 12 points. Przemek Karnowski added 10 points and four rebounds. Gonzaga shot 53.6% from the field and had the lead in rebounds and assists.
Oklahoma State was led by Marcus Smart’s 4-8 shooting for 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Guard Phil Forte, III added 9 points, two assists and two rebounds. Markel Brown only had 4 points due to limited time on the court because of foul trouble.
Gonzaga leads at the half, 43-34.
In the second half Gonzaga continued to play a tough game and would never give up the lead. They had to spend the last 3 plus minutes at the free throw line as they were fouled by Oklahoma State on every possession. Gonzaga finished the game shooting 50% from the field to include 50% from three point range. Kevin Pangos had a big second half and totaled 26 points. Gary Bell, Jr. added 17. Kyle Dranginis came off the bench in the second half to score 12 points.
Oklahome state’s Marcus Smart finished with 23 points, 6 steals and seven assists. Markel Brown totaled 20 points and had a much better second half but State just didn’t get a lot of production from the rest of the team.
Gonzaga wins, 85 -77.