LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Gonzaga had an impressive weekend.
Elias Harris scored 24 points, Kevin Pangos added 23 and No. 17 Gonzaga beat Davidson 81-67 Sunday night in the Old Spice Classic championship game.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “That’s just an unbelievably skilled team that is tough as nails. That fights you on every possession. We had to respond several different times to finally get it going in our direction. I think that bodes well for us down the road here.”
Kelly Olynyk added 14 points for Gonzaga (6-0), which also won the 2008 Old Spice Classic. The Bulldogs are undefeated in six overall games at the tourney.
Davidson (3-3) got 17 points from Nik Cochran. Jake Cohen had 13 and De’Mon Brooks finished with 12.
“They’ve got some terrific offensive firepower,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said of Gonzaga. “They beat you at every spot. I thought they defend very well, too.”
Both teams won two previous games in advancing to the title matchup. Gonzaga beat Oklahoma (72-47) and Clemson (57-49). Davidson posted victories over Vanderbilt (75-62) and West Virginia (63-60).
“It was a really good week for us,” Few said. “We got tested in a variety of ways. Both with how the games flowed, but also with the different schemes and matchups that we faced.”
Pangos connected on a 3 to give Gonzaga a 58-53 lead with eight minutes to play. The guard had another 3 to make it 64-57 two minutes later.
“My teammates got me open and I just let it fly,” Pangos said.
Harris had consecutive baskets as the Bulldogs went up 74-63 with three minutes remaining.
Brooks’ fast-break layup tied it at 51-all midway through the second. He spent parts of the final nine minutes on the bench after picking up his fourth foul.
Brooks and Cohen both fouled out late in the game.
Davidson, keyed by two baskets from Cohen, started the second half by scoring six straight to cut its deficit to 33-30. Clint Mann’s 3-pointer three minutes into the half got the Wildcats within 35-33.
“They came hard with a push in the second half there, but some guys stepped up and made big plays,” Olynyk said.
Harris had 11 points to help Gonzaga, which trailed by nine early on, take a 33-24 halftime lead. The forward, who moved past Steven Gray into 15th place on the school’s all-time scoring list, had pair of baskets and a 3-point play to put the Bulldogs ahead 30-18 with 3:47 before the break.
Przemek Karnowski scored six points during a 11-2 run that got Gonzaga even at 15-all midway through the first half.
Cochran had five points, including a long-range jumper, and Brooks added two in-close baskets to help Davidson go up 13-4 just over four minutes into the game.