SPOKANE — Gonzaga’s seven 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes freed up Przemek Karnowski to impose his will down low against Pepperdine after halftime.
Karnowski made 8 of 10 shots and David Stockton missed just three of his nine attempts in Gonzaga’s 83-68 win over the Waves on Thursday night.
“We have great shooters on the team,” Stockton said after his second-to-last home game in a Gonzaga uniform. “They’ll shade to them more often than me. So I have open lanes to drive.”
Kevin Pangos and Stockton scored 18 points apiece as Gonzaga beat Pepperdine for the 26th straight time.
It’s Gonzaga’s longest streak against any team.
Karnowski added 17 points, 12 in the second half, and seven rebounds for Gonzaga (22-4, 12-1 West Coast Conference).
“I thought he was really good in the second half,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “I challenged him a little bit at halftime, and I thought he was very, very good in the second half. Good deep post touches, delivering in there.”
Pangos made four of Gonzaga’s 10 3-pointers and Stockton had five assists and three steals to help the Bulldogs rebound after a 60-54 loss at Memphis on Saturday.
Stacy Davis scored 14 points for Pepperdine (14-12, 7-7), which was looking to rebound after an overtime loss to Saint Mary’s in its last game. Brendan Lane and Nikolas Skouen added 12 apiece for the Waves.
Pepperdine last beat the Bulldogs on Jan. 18, 2002 and hasn’t won in Spokane since the 1997-98 season.
Pepperdine had three turnovers and managed just two points in the first 3 minutes of the second half and trailed 50-36 after four straight Bell points.
But the Waves got it turned around with a 15-4 run, highlighted by a four-point play by Skouen and a three-point play by Jett Raines, to pull within 54-50.
Stockton ended the stretch with a momentum-changing 3-pointer.
“I thought he was the difference in the game,” Pepperdine coach Marty Wilson said. “He was a load today. Great at both ends. Very aggressive in transition.”