SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Kelly Olynyk led the way with 33 points and 10 rebounds as No. 10 Gonzaga downed Santa Clara, 81-74, at Leavey Center.
Elias Harris added 14 points and Gary Bell, Jr. totaled 12 for the Bulldogs (15-1, 2-0 WCC), winners of six straight games.
Kevin Foster’s 29 points, three assists and three steals weren’t enough for the Broncos (12-4, 1-1). Marc Trasolini contributed 19 points and nine boards in a losing cause.
Santa Clara couldn’t muster enough to make a full comeback in the final minutes.
Yannick Atanga’s shot with 2:53 remaining pulled the hosts within 70-66, but Olynyk answered the next trip down the floor to restore a six-point edge for the visitors.
After Evan Roquemore sank two free throws, Olynyk answered right back, then made two from the line to make it 76-68 for Gonzaga inside the one-minute mark of regulation.
Raymond Cowels made an easy layup, but Kevin Pangos answered with two free throws for an eight-point spread and the Bulldogs kept Santa Clara at bay for the remaining time.
A 12-4 run early in the first half reversed a three-point deficit and gave Gonzaga a 22-17 edge on a Olynyk jumper. Foster later finished off a three- point play to cap a Broncos surge and leave them up 30-29 with 5:35 left before halftime.
Eight in a row from the Bulldogs, ending on an Olynyk layup, put them ahead 37-30, and that margin stood at intermission after a Roquemore free throw pulled Santa Clara within 41-34.
Brandon Clark’s triple got the Broncos within 52-51 after more than 6 1/2 minutes elapsed in the second half, but the school from Spokane opened things up thanks to a 12-3 run which left them up 64-54 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining after Sam Dower’s pair from the line.
Gonzaga has beaten their California counterparts in 26 of the last 28 meetings and leads the all-time series 48-30 … The Bulldogs converted 27-of-30 free throws and shot 55.3 percent (26-of-47) from the floor … Santa Clara committed just eight turnovers in defeat.