Stockton lifts No. 24 Gonzaga past Santa Clara

Stockton lifts No. 24 Gonzaga past Santa Clara

Credit: Getty Images

David Stockton #11 and Kevin Pangos #4 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrate toward the end of the second half against the Santa Clara Broncos at McCarthey Athletic Center on December 28, 2013 in Spokane, Washington.

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by Vince Grippi - Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on December 28, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 29 at 11:56 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- David Stockton scored a season-high 21 points as injury-plagued No. 24 Gonzaga beat Santa Clara 74-60 in the teams' West Coast Conference opener on Saturday  night.

Kevin Pangos had 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting for the Bulldogs (11-2, 1-0), who have won 12 of the previous 13 conference titles.

Gonzaga was without starting forward Sam Dower Jr., the team's second-leading scorer and rebounder, who was out with a back injury caused by a fall in a recent loss against Kansas State. Pangos, who was averaging a team-high 18.3 points despite dealing with a toe injury, also missed a stretch of the second half while receiving treatment.

Brandon Clark scored 22 points as the Broncos (7-7, 0-1) lost for the seventh consecutive time in Spokane.

Pangos was actually off the court when the Zags went on an 8-0 run, building a 46-38 lead with 12:15 left.

Santa Clara roared back after a timeout, pulling within two numerous times -- the last at 51-49 on John McArthur's jumper with 9 minutes remaining.

But with Pangos back on the court, the Bulldogs used a 12-1 run over the next 4:10 to take a 13-point lead. The run, fueled by three Gonzaga steals and five Santa Clara turnovers, was capped by a transition 21-footer from Pangos -- one of his three 3-pointers.

Clark put an end to the run with a 10-foot jumper at the 4:18 mark but the damage had been done.

The Broncos led 26-22 with 4 minutes to go in the first half, but Gonzaga finished the period on a 9-0 run with Pangos scoring five. Santa Clara's Clark put an end to the run with five consecutive points following intermission.

Center Przemek Karnowski led Gonzaga with nine rebounds, while Yannick Atanga led Santa Clara with nine boards off the bench.

The last six Santa Clara losses in Spokane came by an average of 31.2 points, with the Broncos holding the margin under 10 points just one time.

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