Maui, HI (SportsNetwork.com) - After getting upset in the opening round, the
11th-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs will attempt to rebound in the consolation round
on Tuesday against tournament hosts, Chaminade.
Gonzaga beat Chaminade in the only previous meeting between the squads. The
winner will go on to play either Arkansas or Minnesota in Wednesday's fifth-
place game, while the losers will duke it out for seventh.
Gonzaga opened the season with an undefeated four-game homestand, registering
wins over Bryant (100-76), Colorado State (93-61), Oakland (82-67) and
Washington State (90-74) to support its preseason national ranking, but upon
its arrival in Maui it was upended by Dayton in the opening round, 84-79. The
Bulldogs appeared in control early, as they built up a lead as large as 16
points late in the first half, but Dayton chipped away at the deficit and
eventually took a lead it would never surrender midway through the second
half. The Bulldogs brought the game to one point, 78-77, on a Kevin Pangos
layup with 28 seconds left, but the Flyers sealed the deal by draining 6-of-6
at the foul line down the stretch. Pangos nearly single-handedly brought his
team back, scoring 27 points on 13-of-14 from the stripe. Sam Dower (18
points, seven rebounds) and Gary Bell, Jr. (12 points) were also impressive.
After Chaminade started the season 2-0 on opening weekend, it had more than a
two-week layoff before participating in the opening round versus Baylor, and
while it fought hard early and trailed by just three at the half, it was
ultimately no match for the Bears as it fell by a 93-77 final. Despite the
loss, Christophe Varidel shined on the national stage by shooting 14-of-29
from the field, including a blistering 10-of-16 from beyond the arc, on his
way to a career-high 42 points. It was just one point shy of the tournament
record set by Gonzaga's Adam Morrison in 2005. It was a rough night for the
Silverswords otherwise, as no other player netted in double figures and they
shot just 37.7 percent from the field as a team. Lee Bailey helped make up for
a lackluster shooting performance (2-of-12) by tallying seven rebounds and
The Bulldogs have been outstanding on offense this season, as they rank
seventh in the nation in field goal percentage (.541) and 10th in 3-pointers
made per game (10.0), on their way to 88.8 points per game. Pangos has been
outstanding in the early going with 20.4 points and 3.2 assists per game, and
he's been nearly automatic from the free-throw line at 28-of-29. Bell, Jr.
(15.2 ppg) has been on fire from beyond the arc, making more than 60 percent
of his 28 long-range tries. Dower (13.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg) is a sturdy presence in
the paint, while Przemek Karnowski (9.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and David Stockton (7.2
pg, 5.8 apg) are also integral role players.
The Silverswords have also made a habit of big point totals in the season's
first few weeks, averaging 80.3 points per game, although they rely on volume
to get to that total, as they are making just 40.6 percent of their field goal
tries. Varidel is not just a one-game wonder, as he has established himself as
an elite scoring option with an average of 35.0 points per game. Kiran Shastri
(10.0 ppg) is a solid second option coming off the bench. Bailey (7.3 ppg)
hands out 4.7 assists per outing.
The Sports Network