Sam Dower switches focus and Gonzaga reaps the benefits
Forward goes inside and finishes with 22 points
The Associated Press
SPOKANE — Gonzaga forward Sam Dower Jr. was missing his outside shots in the first half, and the No. 19 Bulldogs were having difficulty staying ahead of New Mexico State.
Dower switched his focus to the inside in the second half, and Gonzaga pulled away for an 80-68 victory on Saturday.
Dower led all scorers with 22 points, including 14 in the second half.
“In the second half I decided to go to my inside game more,” the 6-foot-9 Dower said. He made 7 of 9 from the field in the second half to help the Zags overcome a slow start.
“We played really well tonight,” Dower said. “Guys were aggressive in getting to the rim. That helped us out.”
Gerard Coleman added 21 and Kevin Pangos added 15 points for Gonzaga (8-1).
Gonzaga led 31-30 at halftime, after shooting just 35 percent in the first. They shot 64 percent in the decisive second half.
“We got used to what their style of play was going to be,” Pangos said of the Aggies. “We executed a lot better in the second half.”
Coleman came off the bench to sink 10 of 19 shots.
“He was great at getting to the rim,” Pangos said. “He can finish so many different ways.”
Daniel Mullings scored 17 points for New Mexico State (7-4).