Slow Start, Fast Finish As Bulldogs Rout Panthers
Jan. 6, 2001
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University used a 15-0 run in the first half to overcome a 6-point deficit and went on to coast to a 93-50 non-conference basketball victory over Prairie View A&M on Saturday night in front of a Spokane Arena crowd of 6,435.
The Bulldogs (8-5) trailed the Panthers (1-8) 15-9 with 13:14 to go in the opening half, but the Bulldogs turned on the heat, found their shooting touch and left the Panthers in their wake.
Gonzaga scored its first 14 points of this contest from the free throw line, missed its first 10 shots from the field and didn't get a field goal until Casey Calvary's hook with 11:35 to go that, unbelieveably, gave the Bulldogs a 16-15 lead. Gonzaga came back to shoot 40.6 percent from the field in the first half on 13-of-32, while Prairie View connected on just 8-of-31 for 25.8 percent. But the Panthers' first four field goals were of the the 3-point variety that helped the visitors to their 15-9 lead after trailing 4-0.
The Bulldogs finished the first half with a 39-13 spurt to take a 48-28 halftime lead and all but decide the issue. But the Bulldogs still had more free throws (19-of-26) than field goals (13-of-32) in the first half as the Panthers were whistled for 17 first-half fouls. Gonzaga was in the 1-and-1 bonus at the 13:14 mark, and in the 2-shot bonus with 11:57 to play in the first 20 minutes. Gonzaga finished 23-of-32 from the free throw line for the game.
Gonzaga didn't let the Panthers have any thoughts about crawling back into the game in the second half, opening with a 15-6 run in the first 4:00 of the second half to increase the lead to 29 points at 63-34. The lead grew to 40 points at 76-36 at the 12:51 mark and the margin never got under 40 the remainder of the night.
Casey Calvary, who sat out Thursday's 93-36 romp over Northwest College in The Kennel with a mild case of knee tendonitis, returned to action and poured in a game-high 23 points to lead four Bulldogs in double figures. Mark Spink chipped in with 13 points, including a 7-of-8 night from the free throw line, Kyle Bankhead came off the bench for 12 points on a 4-for-5 night from 3-point range, and Blake Stepp had 10 points and a career-high 9 assists.
Gonzaga was without the services of point guard Dan Dickau for the ninth straight game as his left index finger continues to heal. He will be re-examined early next week and his status determined for Friday's West Coast Conference opener at the University of San Francisco. The Bulldogs also didn't have Jimmy Tricco Saturday as he came down with the flu just prior to pre-game warmups and sat the end of the bench most of the night.
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