MORAGA — Przemek Karnowski scored 19 points and No. 1 Gonzaga survived its toughest remaining obstacle to an undefeated regular season by beating No. 20 Saint Mary's 74-64 on Saturday night.
Johnathan Williams added 17 points and Nigel Williams-Goss had 14 to help the Bulldogs (26-0, 14-0) sweep the season series and win for the 11th time in the past 13 meetings against their fiercest conference rival.
The trip to Saint Mary's (22-3, 12-2) was viewed as the last true test for Gonzaga before the postseason begins. The Bulldogs were seeded fourth overall in preliminary rankings for the NCAA tournament released earlier Saturday and can ill afford a slip-up if they want to be assured of being a top seed in a region next month.
Jock Landale scored 24 points despite being limited by foul trouble to lead the way for the Gaels, who couldn't get enough perimeter help for their big man to stay with the Bulldogs. Saint Mary's made just 4 of 15 3-point attempts.
The scene at overflowing McKeon Pavilion was electric for the first visit by the No. 1 team since Bill Russell and San Francisco came to Moraga in 1955. ESPN's "GameDay" show was on hand and fans packed the aisles for the standing-room only crowd.
It was a first half of runs with the teams trading 9-0 spurts early before Gonzaga broke things open with a 17-2 stretch late in the half. The Gaels then got the final six points from Landale to cut the deficit to 40-31 at the break.
But Saint Mary's never got closer than seven points in the second half as Gonzaga answered every charge.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs should be heavy favorites the rest of the regular season with home games against San Francisco, Pacific and BYU and a trip to San Diego left. They have won all but three games this season by at least 10 points, including the last 18 as no one in the WCC seems up to challenging them this season.
Saint Mary's: After holding the previous two opponents to 26 percent shooting, the Gaels had a much tougher time slowing down the more talented Zags. Gonzaga made 10 straight shots at one point in the first half and shot 55.3 percent overall as Karnowski and Williams overpowered Saint Mary's inside to shoot a combined 16 for 22.
Gonzaga: Host San Francisco on Thursday.
Saint Mary's: Host Loyola Marymount on Thursday.