Dayton-Gonzaga Preview

The Associated Press

The last time Gonzaga played in the Maui Invitational it won the event.

So did the first team it will face on the island.

The No. 11 Bulldogs meet Dayton for the first time Monday night in a matchup of undefeated teams.

After finishing fourth in Maui in 2002 and second in 2005, Gonzaga (4-0) beat Colorado, Wisconsin and Cincinnati by a combined 19 points to take the 2009 tournament. The Bulldogs highlight this season's field along with eighth-ranked Syracuse and potential semifinal-round opponent No. 18 Baylor, but could be challenged right off the bat while trying to open with five straight wins for a third consecutive season.

Dayton, looking to start 5-0 for the first time in three seasons, won the event the last time it participated in 2003 and finished third in 2000. The Flyers enter this tournament looking to continue their solid play after an 82-72 win over former coach Brian Gregory and Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

"I hope it impacts us in a big way," Dayton coach Archie Miller said. "This is a confidence builder."

The Flyers, however, know that momentum alone likely won't be enough to get the best of a Gonzaga team that's averaged 91.3 points and shot 55.5 percent on the season. The Bulldogs have gone 24 of 43 from 3-point range in the last two games.

Guard Kevin Pangos averages 18.8 points to lead four Bulldogs that are scoring at least 10.5 per game. He finished with 27 in a 90-74 win over Washington State on Thursday.

Pangos, 10 for 17 from beyond the arc in the last two games, went 8 of 13 from the field as the Bulldogs shot 55.9 percent.

"Kevin was aggressive," coach Mark Few said.

Reserve guard Drew Barham added 17 with eight rebounds, 7-foot-1 Przemek Karnowski scored 12 and David Stockton had nine assists without a turnover as the Bulldogs started strong and led the Cougars by 16 at halftime.

"Our guys played with fire," Few said.

Though the Bulldogs have held their first four opponents to an average of 69.5 points and 42.4 percent shooting, they could face their first serious test against Dayton.

Averaging 77.8 points and shooting 47.5 percent, the Flyers are paced by guard Jordan Sibert's 13.8 average and have five players scoring at least 10.8 per contest.

Sibert scored a career-high 20 and pulled down six boards against the Yellow Jackets, and Dayton scored 33 points off 19 Georgia Tech turnovers.

"We came together and had a lot of guys contribute," Miller said. "It was a great team win. Hopefully we can build on this."

Dayton won two in a row over ranked opponents before falling 79-73 to then-No. 14 Butler on Jan. 12 in its only meeting with a Top 25 team last season.

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