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No. 10 Gonzaga beats San Francisco 66-52

By CAREY J. WILLIAMS

Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) San Francisco coach Rex Walters was searching for any sort of positives after the Dons' 66-52 loss at No. 10 Gonzaga.

His defense is what stood out in the end.

"We held a Top-25 team to 23 points in the second half," Walters said Saturday night. "They average 80, we held them to 66."

But the defense wasn't enough to offset the inconsistencies on the offensive end.

"We got good shots, but the shots in the first half were just so bad, quite honestly," Walters added. "Our quality of shot was a lot better in the second half."

The Dons made six more field goals in the second half than in the first, but shot just 39 percent for the game.

San Francisco (9-12, 2-6 West Coast Conference) outscored Gonzaga 31-23 in the second half, but being down 22 points at halftime was too much to overcome.

Coach Mark Few was pleased with No. 10 Gonzaga's effort in its 24th straight win at home against San Francisco - well, for most of the game.

"For 30 minutes, I thought we played really, really good basketball," he said. "We did a great job on the defensive end. We took great care of the ball."

The Bulldogs shot 58 percent in the first half, built a 24 point lead at one point, but were only 8 of 27 in the second half.

"I didn't like the way we finished that game, no," Few added. "I think we let it slip. Especially that last group we had in there. We can't feel good about the lead going from 20 to 14."

Kelly Olynyk scored 13 points for Gonzaga, which hasn't lost at home to San Francisco since the 1988-89 season.

Elias Harris had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Gonzaga (19-2, 6-0) and Kevin Pangos added 11 points. Gonzaga made 45 percent of its shots and was 8 of 20 from 3-point range.

"He's (Harris) been very, very engaged," Few said. "He's been really dialed in. He's playing like an athlete and that's how he needs to play. He's doing a great job on the glass on both ends."

Chris Adams led San Francisco with nine points and Avry Holmes scored eight. The Dons turned the ball over 17 times and were 9 of 24 from behind the arc.

Gonzaga built a 43-21 halftime lead, but had a sloppy start to the second half. The Bulldogs made only one basket in the first four minutes.

San Francisco connected on three 3-pointers, two by Adams, in the first six minutes.

The home crowd went quiet after the Bulldogs missed 8 of 11 shots to start the second half.

But Dons weren't able to capitalize. San Francisco struggled to put together back-to-back baskets and Gonzaga held on.

The first half was much smoother for Gonzaga.

Pangos scored six of Gonzaga's first 13 points and the Bulldogs built an early 13-7 lead. San Francisco managed to pull to 18-17 but Gonzaga's Drew Barham hit two 3-pointers during an 11-2 run to extend the lead.

The Bulldogs were consistently left open outside of the 3-point line. Gonzaga was 6 of 12 from beyond the arc in the first half.

Harris and Gary Bell Jr. made 3-pointers during a 14-2 run, pushing Gonzaga's lead to 41-21.

The Bulldogs did not allow a point to the Dons in the final six minutes of the half.

Gonzaga made 58 percent of its shots in the first half and held San Francisco to 7-of-22 shooting.

Gonzaga controlled the paint, holding a 37-33 rebounding advantage. The Dons have been outrebounded in eight straight games.

"Kelly Olynyk, as a freshman, looked like a lot of our guys," Walters said. "He changed his body over the course of three years. He's an NBA lottery pick. He didn't play great today. It was all about his mentality, how he worked and how he changed his body."

The Bulldogs committed a season-high 19 turnovers in 83-63 win against BYU on Thursday. They had eight versus the Dons.

Ten players saw time for Gonzaga. Freshman Kyle Dranginis made his first career start.

San Francisco has not beaten Gonzaga in Spokane since the 1988-89 season. The Bulldogs have lost their last three games at San Francisco. Those three losses were by a combined 10 points.

Gonzaga improved to 115-8 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since opening in 2004.

Updated January 26, 2013

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