SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Jordan Mathews scored 16 points to help Gonzaga slowly pull away from South Dakota State for a 66-46 victory and avoid the first 1 vs. 16 upset in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
It looked possible for a while.
The Jackrabbits (18-17), champions of the Summit League, led for the first 17 minutes of Thursday's game in the West region and stayed in range for most of the game.
They did it without a breakout game from Mike Daum. The nation's second-leading scorer finished 7 for 16 from the floor with 17 points - more than eight below his average.
Daum did a nice job on Gonzaga's 7-foot-1 center, Przemek Karnowski, holding him to four points over the first 32 minutes.
But Karnowski , who finished with 10 points, scored three straight buckets for the Bulldogs (33-1) to help them expand the lead to 20 with 5 minutes left, and it was over.
Gonzaga is expected to play sometime Saturday. The time of the game should be announced late Thursday night.
Nine straight years with an opening round win. pic.twitter.com/77iNFgiWnK— Darnay Tripp (@DarnayTripp) March 16, 2017
#BREAKING: Gonzaga beats SDSU 66-46, advances to second round of NCAA Tournament— KREM 2 NEWS (@KREM2) March 16, 2017