SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga star Kelly Olynyk dominated Saint Mary's down low, scoring 31 points to carry the ninth-ranked Bulldogs to an 83-78 victory Thursday night.
Olynyk, who scored a career-high 33 points against Santa Clara in Gonzaga's previous game, sank 11 of 19 shots from the field. He also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Kevin Pangos scored 22 points for the Bulldogs (16-1, 3-0 West Conference), including two clinching free throws with 2.3 seconds left. Senior forward Elias Harris added 13 points.
Stephen Holt scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half for the Gaels (12-4, 1-1). Backcourt partner Matthew Dellavedova added 14 points, but sank just 4 of 15 shots.
The Bulldogs, who shot 54.2 percent from the field, have won seven straight games since suffering a rare home loss to Illinois. The Gaels had won four in a row and eight of nine.
The Gaels, who trailed by 18 at the half, pulled within three points on three occasions in the final 6:12.
Gonzaga raced out to a 9-2 lead and dominated most of the first half. The Bulldogs outscored the Gaels 8-0 in the final three minutes of the half to lead 46-28.
Olynyk worked over the Gaels down low, scoring 17 first-half points on 8-for-10 shooting. Pangos added 10 points before the break, five more than Dellavedova, who hit just 2 of 8 first-half shots.
The Bulldogs, one of the national leaders in field-goal shooting percentage, sank 58.3 percent of their shots in the first half. Saint Mary's shot 31 percent before halftime.
NOTES: Harris made the midseason list of 25 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, which goes to the national player of the year. Dellavedova, one of 50 preseason candidates, did not make the midseason list. ... Also Thursday, Pangos was announced as one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, presented to the nation's best point guard. Dellavedova failed to advance beyond the original list for that award, though he came into the game with career-high averages of 17.4 and 6.7 assists per game. ... The Bulldogs claimed another honor Thursday when Olynyk was chosen the West Coast Conference Player of the Month for December. Olynyk averaged 18.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in seven December games. He shot 70.8 percent from the field and 85.2 percent from the free-throw line. ... The game drew Gonzaga's usual sellout crowd of 6,000.