Few Earns 300th Career Victory As Bulldogs Top Cowboys
Dec. 31, 2010
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga's 20-point victory over Oklahoma State on Friday may have looked relatively easy, but coach Mark Few will assure you it was not.
The 73-52 win was the 300th of Few's 12-year career, all at Gonzaga, and he sweats them all.
"They are so hard to come by," Few said. "Only coaches know how hard they really are, every one of them."
Few is 300-78 at Gonzaga, the second-best winning percentage among active coaches after Roy Williams of North Carolina.
Forward Elias Harris scored a season-high 22 points, and center Robert Sacre added 16 points and 15 rebounds for Gonzaga (9-5), which has won five in a row since an early December slump knocked it from the Top 25. Gonzaga is 4-0 against Oklahoma State.
It was one of the best games of the season for Harris, a sophomore who is considered a pro prospect.
"It was great to see him back attacking, like last year," Few said.
Marshall Moses led Oklahoma State (11-2) with 17 points. The Cowboys saw their seven-game winning streak broken in what was only their second game on an opponent's home court this season.
They had not played since a Dec. 21 win over Stanford.
"Ten days is way too many to take off," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. "We should have played a game like they did."
Gonzaga beat Lafayette on Wednesday.
Jean-Paul Olukemi added 11 points for the Cowboys. Keiton Page, who came in averaging nearly 16 points per game, was held to two.
Gonzaga's inside tandem of Harris and Sacre dominated, giving the Bulldogs a 44-32 rebounding edge and a 32-22 lead in inside scoring. Sacre had his third double-double of the season and helped hold the Cowboys to 36.2 percent shooting.
"That was the most physical team we've played," Few said. "I'm proud of how we defended."
Ford said his team tried to rein in the Gonzaga big men.
"It's their inside game that makes them great," Ford said. "We worked on limiting their touches close to the bucket, but their bigs do a great job of running the court."
Gonzaga's leading scorer, Steven Gray, who has been slowed by a back injury the last three games, had 10 points and six assists in his best game since scoring 18 against Notre Dame.
The Cowboys took an early 17-11 lead behind eight points by Moses, as Gonzaga made just three of its first 16 shots. Then the Zags got hot, making 9 of 12 during a 24-7 run that gave them a 35-24 lead they never relinquished. Harris had 10 points for Gonzaga during the run.
David Stockton's half-court buzzer-beater gave Gonzaga a 40-26 lead at halftime. Harris had 16 in the first half, while Sacre had nine points and nine rebounds. Moses had 12 points for the Cowboys in the first half.
Demetri Goodson's 3-pointer gave Gonzaga a 54-36 lead midway through the second half and the Cowboys did not threaten.
"They were the tougher basketball team tonight," Ford said.
The Cowboys made only 5 of 14 free throws in the game. Gonzaga was 18 of 26 from the line and shot 45.3 percent from the field.
Gonzaga is 82-5 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.
There was little time for the Bulldogs to ring in the New Year as the team departs early Saturday morning for Winston-Salem, N.C., and Sunday's contest at Wake Forest.
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