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No. 7 Gonzaga 65, San Diego 63

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Gonzaga really had to earn a victory against San Diego.

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David Stockton hit a runner in the lane with 55.9 seconds left after Kelly Olynyk scored on consecutive possessions and No. 7 Gonzaga held off San Diego 65-63 on Saturday night for its fourth straight win.

``We needed to make some plays down the stretch,'' Olynyk said. ``David Stockton came in and made some great plays getting into the lane and finding guys for layins. It was huge and then we just needed a couple of stops, and we finally got a couple.''

The Toreros still had a chance after Olynyk missed the front end of a one-and-one with 8 seconds left, but Elias Harris blocked Ken Rancifer's shot and the Toreros couldn't get off another.

``We battled,'' Harris said after Gonzaga was outrebounded 38-32. ``It was really physical. It went back and forth. They gave us a hell of a time rebounding the ball. They pushed us around.''

Harris scored 18 points for Gonzaga (21-2, 8-0 West Coast Conference), while Olynyk had 15 and Gary Bell Jr. 13.

``We really need to go back on Monday and go back to boxing out with more heart, Harris said, ``because that today was not acceptable.''

The Bulldogs have won nine straight against the Toreros and 31 of 33.

Johnny Dee scored a game-high 21 points for USD (11-12, 4-4).

Gonzaga trailed 57-53 with 7 1/2 minutes left before outscoring the Toreros 12-6.

Olynyk made two free throws, Kyle Dranginis made a baseline shot and Bell scored inside to tie it at 59.

Stockton stole the ball and fed Olynyk for a reverse layup and 61-59 lead with 3:12 left. San Diego turned over the ball and Olynyk made another layup for a four-point lead.

After Chris Anderson scored for USD, Olynyk missed a slam dunk that would have given the Zags some breathing room. They got it anyway when Olynyk rebounded and fed Stockton for a runner in the lane and a 65-61 lead with just under a minute left.

San Diego's last points came on Dennis Kramer's putback with 9.4 seconds left.

``It's disappointing, obviously, but I'm really proud of our team,'' San Diego coach Bill Grier said. ``When you give that kind of effort and compete that hard, no matter what happens, you're going to be happy with the fact that they battled.''

Gonzaga led 51-43 with 13 minutes left before USD began closing the gap. Dee made consecutive shots for the Toreros, including a 3-pointer to pull to 51-50.

After Bell made a putback for Gonzaga, Bulldogs coach Mark Few was whistled for a technical that helped give the momentum to the Toreros. Dee scored seven straight points, including making both free throws and then a 3-pointer to give USD a 55-53 lead with 9:22 left. Dee made a jumper in the key for a four-point lead.

The Toreros played Gonzaga even until the final three minutes of the first half, when the Bulldogs went on a 12-1 run to take a 36-27 lead.

Kevin Pangos had eight straight during the run, starting with consecutive 3-pointers followed by a layup after a steal by David Stockton. Harris finished it with four straight free throws.

The Toreros had gone ahead 19-17 after an 8-0 run that included two straight baskets by Chris Manresa and layups by Cameron Miles and Keith Stackhouse. USD's last lead of the first half was 26-24 after Rancifer made a layup with 3:19 left.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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