Pendergraft, Heytvelt key Gonzaga victory over Portland 79-41

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)—David Pendergraft and Josh Heytvelt combined for 27 first-half points Monday night and Gonzaga never trailed after the opening minutes of a 79-41 victory over Portland.

Austin Daye’s 19 points and 13 rebounds led the Bulldogs (16-5, 5-0 West Coast Conference), who had the game in hand after Pendergraft scored 14 of his 15 points in the opening half. Sherrard Watson had 11 points for the Pilots (7-14, 1-4), who have lost nine in a row to Gonzaga.

After Pendergraft and Heytvelt staked Gonzaga to a 39-22 halftime lead, Portland managed to close to within 39-29 on Robin Smeulders’ jump hook with 16 minutes left. But Gonzaga responded, outscoring Portland 27-2 and holding the Pilots without a field goal over the next 8:05 to open a 66-31 lead.

With Portland leading 7-5 early, Gonzaga used a 14-3 burst, capped by Micah Downs’ 3-pointer with eight minutes left in the first half, to open a 19-10 lead. Gonzaga held the Pilots to 1-of-11 shooting and forced five turnovers in that stretch.

Portland got as close as seven points twice, the last time at 25-18 with 5:22 left in the first half on a tough drive by Nik Raivio—the younger brother of former Gonzaga standout Derek Raivio.

Heytvelt scored all 13 of his points in the first half for Gonzaga, which has won seven of its last eight—losing 81-73 at No. 1 Memphis last Saturday.

Raivio, Portland’s leading scorer at 12.4 points per game, was held to six points on 2-of-9 shooting. As a team, Portland managed just 14-of-53 from the floor. The Pilots have lost four of their last five.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Portland
Robin Smeulders Robin Smeulders
2-7,  5 Pts
7 Rebs, 1 Assists
 Gonzaga
Austin Daye Austin Daye
8-12,  19 Pts
13 Rebs, 0 Assists

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Monday, Jan 28