Fourth-ranked Gonzaga improved to 19-0 overall and 7-0 in the West Coast Conference, but not without difficulty in its 73-52 victory over shorthanded Portland in Spokane, Wash., on Saturday.
Portland announced before the game that leading scorer, senior guard Alec Wintering, is out for the rest of the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that was suffered Thursday in the game against San Francisco.
Wintering was averaging 19.5 points this season. He started and appeared in 110 career games and averaged 14.1 points and 5.2 assists overall, finishing second on the school's career assists list with 568, only five behind leader Darwin Cook (1976-80).
Gonzaga, the last remaining unbeaten team in the nation, was outrebounded (41-33) for only the second time this season. The only Bulldogs to score in double figures were Nigel Williams-Goss (15 points) and Przemek Karnowski (12 with 10 in the second half).
"If I could put my finger on why we didn't rebound well it's that we did not get the loose balls," said Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins, who led the Bulldogs with six assists. "There were random balls everywhere and we didn't get our hands on them."
The teams play again Monday night at Portland, a game rescheduled because of the postponement of the Jan. 7 game there due to inclement weather.
"I think their rebounds kept them in this game," Perkins continued. "Monday should be a different story."
Portland had more players with at least 10 points -- Gabe Taylor with 13 (all in the second half), Jazz Johnson with 12 and Rashad Jackson with 10. The Pilots dropped to 9-10 and 2-5 while shooting only 32.2 percent from the field.
Gonzaga never trailed against Portland despite struggling from the field, especially from 3-point range (31.8 percent). Williams-Goss made only 3 of his 11 field goal attempts, including 1 of 6 from 3-point range.
"Our rebounding is a concern and our execution hurt us," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "Some of our guys had good looks. We just couldn't make them."
Williams-Goss was seen on crutches after the game but assistant coach Brian Michaelson indicated that the junior guard was only sore and should play Monday.
The Bulldogs made up for their offensive deficiencies on the defensive end, limiting Portland to 25 percent from 3-point range while forcing the Pilots into 16 turnovers with only four assists.
Portland never threatened Gonzaga after trailing 12-1 less than five minutes into the game. The Bulldogs did not lead by more than 13 points in the first half, however, because of cold shooting (39.8 percent at that time).
The Pilots managed to cut the lead to 38-31 with 16:20 left in regulation.
"Our guys stepped up big time considering the circumstances," said Kramer Knutson, an assistant under first-year coach Terry Porter. "It took a little while to get adjusted without Alec, but our guys settled down for the most part and it was pretty quiet in here."
A 9-1 run by Gonzaga -- with five points from Williams-Goss and four by Karnowski -- stretched the lead to 47-32 with 12:23 remaining. Portland trailed by double digits the rest of the game.
The Pilots came away proud of holding Gonzaga 12 points below what it averaged entering the game and limiting the Bulldogs to only two fast-break points.
"We didn't give them easy looks tonight because we did a good job of getting back on defense," Knutson said. "Our biggest emphasis this season is transition defense. Two give them only two points in transition shows the hard work is paying off."
NOTES: Portland senior G Alec Wintering issued a statement after it was announced his college career is over after suffering a season-ending knee injury last Thursday at San Francisco. "I was given an opportunity here, made the most of it, and played every game as if it were my one and only," he wrote in his statement. ... Entering the game, Gonzaga was the highest-scoring team in the conference averaging 85.7 points a game, despite not having a player rank any higher than ninth among the conference scoring leaders. ... Portland G Jazz Johnson reached double figures in all 19 games this season. Johnson ranked second in the WCC in three-point percentage (.472) and free throw percentage (.852) entering Saturday. ... Gonzaga averaged an 89-60 victory over its opponent through the first 10 home games. The Bulldogs outscored their opponents 435-289 in the first half of those games.