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Gonzaga 88, San Francisco 57

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SPOKANE, Wash. — Senior point guard Kevin Pangos led a balanced Gonzaga offense with 17 points in an 88-57 victory over San Francisco on Thursday night.

Sixth-ranked Gonzaga (15-1, 4-0 West Coast Conference) moved into a first-place tie with idle Saint Mary’s. The Bulldogs have won eight consecutive games since losing 66-63 in overtime at then-No. 3 Arizona on Dec. 6. San Francisco (7-10, 1-4) has lost four in a row.

Gonzaga has won 33 straight home games, the second-longest active home winning streak in NCAA Division I men’s basketball behind the 41-game skein of Duke. The Dons are 0-26 at Gonzaga since a 67-64 win on Feb. 10, 1989.

Forward Kruize Pinkins led USF with 20 points. Center Przemek Karnowski scored 16 points for Gonzaga, and forward Kyle Wiltjer added 15. The Bulldogs shot 52.5 percent from the field, including 42.9 on 3-pointers. Pangos sank 5 of 8 treys and added a game-high five assists.

Gonzaga took the lead for good midway through the first half. The Bulldogs were never threatened after a 16-2 run in the second half expanded their lead to 62-41 with 11 minutes to go.

Gonzaga outrebounded USF 39-26 and had a 19-8 advantage in assists.

Mark Few, who has won at least 23 games and gone to the NCAA tournament in all 15 previous seasons as Gonzaga’s head coach, improved his career record to 418-101. His .805 winning percentage ranks first in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history.

Gonzaga led 37-27 at the half. The Bulldogs missed 11 of 14 shots in the opening seven minutes, then hit four straight shots, all from 3-point range.

NOTES: Junior G Eric McClellan became eligible to make his Gonzaga debut Thursday, but a small crack in his right foot will sideline him indefinitely. McClellan led Vanderbilt with 14.3 points per game last year before being kicked off the team at midseason after being accused of misdemeanor theft and an academic policy violation. … The Bulldogs hope McClellan, a versatile guard, can give PG Kevin Pangos a break on occasion. Freshman Josh Perkins was effective as Pangos’ backup before suffering a broken jaw Nov. 26 against Georgia. The wires were removed from Perkins’ surgically repaired jaw recently, but he lost considerable weight after being limited to liquid meals. He has yet to resume practice and may redshirt. … The Bulldogs, who were playing their first home game since Dec. 15, remain at home to face Santa Clara on Saturday. San Francisco visits Portland on Saturday. … Gonzaga hasn’t lost in Spokane since bowing 85-74 to Illinois on Dec. 8, 2012. … The standard sellout crowd of 6,000 at Gonzaga’s McCarthey Athletic Center was quieter than usual Thursday, since few students were on hand with classes out due to the holiday break.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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