No. 18 Gonzaga Holds Off Santa Clara, 83-81
Jan 12, 2002
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
SPOKANE, Wash. - Dan Dickau scored 29 points, and No. 18 Gonzaga survived a furious second-half comeback and a career-high 38 points by Steve Ross to beat Santa Clara 83-81 Friday night for its 11th straight victory and 20th straight at home.
Ross had 22 points in the second half for the Broncos (5-9, 0-1 West Coast), who lost for the first time in five games. Gonzaga (14-2, 1-0), is off to its best start since the 1966-67 season.
Trailing by 12 points at halftime, Santa Clara mounted a strong comeback early in the second half.
The Broncos cut Gonzaga's lead to 50-45 on a 3-pointer by Justin Holbrook. Ross was fouled making a basket and hit the free throw to make it 50-48 with 13:31 left.
Holbrook's 3-pointer brought Santa Clara within 60-59. But Dickau responded with a pair of 3-pointers to lift Gonzaga to a 66-59 lead.
The Bulldogs led 77-69 with 3:22 left, and their full-court press slowed the Broncos' attack as time ticked off the clock.
Kyle Bailey's 3-pointer for Santa Clara cut Gonzaga's lead to 79-76 with 25 seconds left.
But the Broncos were forced to foul, and Blake Stepp sank two free throws before Bailey sank a jumper to make it 81-78 with 13 seconds left. Stepp then sank one of two free throws. Bailey's 3-point attempt bounced off the front of the rim to end Santa Clara's hopes. Ross hit a final 3-pointer for the Broncos as time expired.
Gourde, who sat out most of the first half in foul trouble, scored 14 of his
15 points in the second half.
In the first half, Anthony Reason's slam on an alley opp punctuated a 10-0 Gonzaga run, giving its a 13-7 lead midway through a ragged first half when neither team shot better than 39 percent.
Cory Violette scored eight straight points - a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around a pair of free throws - as Gonzaga built a 32-19 lead with 3:24 left in the first half.
Dickau's jumper at the buzzer gave Gonzaga a 40-28 halftime lead. Dickau had 13 points in the first half, while Ross had 16.
Ross sank seven 3-pointers in the game, and the Broncos had 12.
The Bulldogs return to action in a 1 p.m. Sunday matinee against the University of San Diego. Gonzaga's 20-game home winning streak is currently tied with Fresno State for the sixth best active streak in NCAA Division I.
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