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Player of the game

Call them co-players, as Zags freshman guards Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. controlled tempo, hit shots and played like veterans. They had 25 points by halftime, outscoring the entire Mountaineer team by three, and finished with a combined 27 points on 9-for-16 shooting, six assists and two turnovers.

Key to the game

Gonzaga didn’t back down to the Mountaineers’ touted ruggedness inside, getting a standoff on the boards, 31-all, while the Zags had a huge edge on the perimeter.

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Turning point

Ahead 14-10 with 12 minutes left in the half, the Zags strung together 13 consecutive points, built on five Mountaineers missed shots in a row and two turnovers, for a 27-10 lead, and the game was never in doubt thereafter.

Quote of the day

“That’s one of the best jobs a team’s done on me, as far as team defense.” — West Virginia All-American forward Kevin Jones, held to 13 points and four rebounds.

Bud Withers