SEATTLE — Elias Harris and Gonzaga started fast and never let Arizona catch up ... barely.
Harris scored 12 of Gonzaga's first 19 points during a suffocating opening run, and the Bulldogs needed all of their early advantage to hold on in the final minutes for a 71-60 win over the Wildcats on Saturday at Seattle's KeyArena.
Making their annual trip across the mountains to play before its large fan base in the Seattle area, Gonzaga (7-2) scored the first 14 points, held Arizona scoreless for more than five minutes, then held off Arizona's second-half rally.
Harris was the leader. He made six of his first seven shots and his 3-pointer in the closing seconds gave him 17 for the first half, nearly outscoring the Wildcats by himself as Gonzaga led 39-21. He finished with 27 points — hitting 11 of 15 shots — and added eight rebounds.
Kyle Fogg led Arizona (7-3) with 14 points, but the Wildcats lost for the fourth time in seven games. Nick Johnson was the only other Arizona player in double figures with 13 points.
Reserve center Sam Dower added 10 points for Gonzaga, including eight straight during a three-minute stretch of the second half when Arizona started to trim the deficit.
Jesse Perry's layup off a drive by Nick Johnson got the Wildcats within 10 with 7:48 left. It was the closest Arizona had been since falling behind 14-0 to start. Perry then blocked a shot by Gary Bell Jr., but Arizona missed a chance to get within single digits due to a shot clock violation coming out of a timeout.
Harris scored the next two baskets for the Bulldogs around a jump shot by Fogg for Arizona. Harris' first bucket came off a loose ball scrum, the other on a difficult tip-in in traffic to push the lead back to a dozen. Kevin Pangos added a free throw, only to see Jordin Mayes hit a 3 off a screen to get the Wildcats back within 10.
Another Gonzaga turnover gave Arizona possession and this time the Wildcats cashed in with Mayes scoring on a back screen to get the lead down to eight. Mayes continued to shine in the closing minutes, blocking Pangos' drive from behind and leading to a pair of free throws for Hill that got the Wildcats within 60-54 with 2:44 remaining.
Gonzaga answered with a pick-and-roll dunk from Robert Sacre, only to see Johnson hit an 18-footer with a hand in his face with 2 minutes left. Pangos then made a pair of free throws and Mayes missed a 3. But Pangos gave Arizona a chance, missing a pair of free throws and then committing a foul on the rebound that sent Johnson to the line for a pair that got the Wildcats within six with 1:20 remaining.
Gonzaga then broke Arizona's press, leading to an easy basket for Harris, and a turnover on Arizona's next possession ended the Wildcats' comeback attempt.
The Wildcats' sluggish start only added to what's been a giant black eye for the Pac-12 during the non-conference season. Arizona took No. 13 Florida to overtime on Dec. 7 in Gainesville before losing, then flopped in the first of two trips to Seattle this season. Arizona coach Sean Miller was at such a loss, he burned three of his timeouts in the first 12 minutes trying to stem some of the Gonzaga roll.
Arizona finally got on the board when Turner scored on a driving left-handed layup while being fouled with 14:26 left in the first half. Arizona pulled within 34-21 after a six-point spurt late in the first half, but Gonzaga scored the final five points to go to halftime with a 39-21 advantage.
Gonzaga improved to 5-4 in its annual Seattle game after losing four of the previous five games at KeyArena.
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