No. 10 Gonzaga races past BYU, 83-63
Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk combined for 51 points and the Bulldogs overpowered the Cougars early on the way to a victory.
SPOKANE — Kelly Olynyk was nearly perfect for No. 10 Gonzaga against BYU on Thursday night.
Olynyk scored 26 points on 9-for-9 shooting and was also 8 for 8 on free throws as Gonzaga routed BYU 83-63 in a basketball showdown for first place in the West Coast Conference. He also had nine rebounds and five assists.
"If I can get the ball in the center of the zone, it's hard for a defense," Olynyk said. "The guards were feeding me and we made great plays."
But there was another player Olynyk wanted to talk about. Gonzaga guard Gary Bell Jr., a sophomore from Kentridge High School, helped limit BYU guard Tyler Haws to just one point. Haws was the WCC scoring leader at 21 points per game.
Haws had 42 points against Virginia Tech, the most by a Division I player this season. His previous low this season was nine against Iowa State, and he had scored at least 20 in seven consecutive games.
"Gary Bell Jr. guarded Haws to a 'T,' " Olynyk said.
Haws was 0 for 9 from the field and BYU shot just 35 percent (21 for 59).
"I was ecstatic with how we flew around," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "We did a great job on Haws. We did a great job on (Brandon) Davies. We did a great job on the glass."
Elias Harris added 25 points and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga (18-2, 5-0), which was coming off a last-second loss at No. 9 Butler last weekend.
Josh Sharp and Davies led BYU (15-6, 5-2) with 14 points each.
Gonzaga won the rebound battle 37-29, and outscored BYU 42-28 in the paint. The Zags shot 56.9 percent. Bell was one of the few Zags who shot poorly, with five points on 2-of-10 accuracy.
"Between Harris and Olynyk, they just had a fantastic game," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "Offensively, we struggled with their size and how physical the game was."
Haws did not score in the first half, missing all six of shots.
"They sped (Haws) up and were really physical with him," Rose said. "It was tough to get the ball in spots where he was comfortable. Every catch he made, it seemed to be in a spot where it was a little out of rhythm."
Gonzaga improved to 114-8 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.