Kevin Pangos struggled through the first 30 minutes, so instead it was Gerard Coleman who stepped up to lead No. 19 Gonzaga Bulldogs to an 80-68 victory over New Mexico State Saturday night in Spokane, Wash.
The game, which aired on ESPNU, offered fans a chance to see 7'5 Sim Bhullar play for the Aggies, but he was kept in check most of the night, partly due to foul trouble. Instead it was Coleman who stole the show. He finished the night with 21 points on 10-19 shooting.
With Bhullar a non-factor, the Bulldogs were free to dominate the glass until Pangos (15 points, nine rebounds, six assists) got his shot going. Gonzaga out-rebounded the Aggies 45-30.
Gonzaga led by one at halftime, but extended the lead and put it out of reach midway through the second half. Pangos hit a pair of threes while Coleman had no problem getting to the paint for easy buckets.
The dagger for the Aggies may have been when Pangos drove to the left off a screen at the top of the key and dished to Sam Dower for the easy dunk to put Gonzaga up 12 with 5:28 to play. Dower finished with 22 points.
Daniel Mullings led New Mexico State with 17 points in the losing effort.