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Gonzaga perfect in conference

Published On: Mar 11 2013 11:49:01 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 04 2013 12:25:12 PM CST
Gonzaga Bulldogs
SPOKANE, Wash. -

No. 2 Gonzaga didn't waste anytime Saturday afternoon dispatching Portland, 81-52 at the McCarthey Center.

Kevin Pangos started the scoring with a long 3 pointer and Elias Harris added a spectacular dunk just seconds later.

Portland answered with three 3's and had a 9-7 lead with three minutes off the clock.

The Bulldogs answered with an 13-0 run. They raced to a 20 to 9 lead and never looked back.

Elias Harris had the hair working for him and lit up the McCarthey Athletic Center with a spectacular dunk half way through the first half.

It wasn't just Gonzaga's offense that did the job today.  Their defense swarmed the Pilots, forcing turnovers that turned into points.

The Pilots (11-20, 4-12 WCC) tried to keep it close with numerous 3-pointers in the first half but they couldn't stop the onslaught.

Kelly Olynyk once again showed why he is considered one of the best players in the country.  He was active on both ends of the court, finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists.

Gongaza went into the locker room at half-time leading 46-27.

Excitement has been building all week long following No. 1 Indiana's loss on Tuesday and No. 3 Duke's loss on Thursday.  The Bulldogs held on for a 5 point win over BYU Thursday night, opening the door to a possible number 1 ranking in the country.

It was clear Saturday afternoon the Bulldogs wanted a convincing win.

The Bulldogs (29-2, 16-0 WCC) finished conference play with a perfect record, something a Gonzaga team hasn't done since the 2008-2009 season when they had just 14 conference games.

Before the game started, Gonzaga and its fans said good-bye to seniors Elias Harris, Mike Hart and Guy Landry Edi.

Harris came out of his final home game with 5:58 remaining in the game. He received a hug from Coach Mark Few. Harris finished the game with 20 points and 9 rebounds.

The last time Portland beat Gonzaga was in 2003 in the old Martin Centre.

This is the 12th time in 13 years the Bulldogs have either won or shared the conference title.

Their only losses this season were to Butler and Illinois when both were ranked No. 13.

Gonzaga reached it's highest ranking ever last Monday by destroying Santa Clara by 43 points and San Diego by 31. They have the best winning percentage in all of Division 1 basketball.

The Bulldogs head into the West Coast Conference Tournament riding a 12 winning streak.

Gonzaga is 120-8 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.

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