Gonzaga Silences Lions Roar

Jan. 14, 2005

Box Score

Associated Press Writer

SPOKANE, Wash. - J.P. Batista scored 17 points in his first start, and Ronny Turiaf added 16 on his 22nd birthday in No. 16 Gonzaga's 76-65 victory over Loyola Marymount on Thursday night.

Gonzaga (12-3, 2-1 West Coast Conference), coming off a loss to Saint Mary's on Saturday that ended its conference winning streak at 17, also got 13 points each from Sean Mallon and Derek Raivio.

Loyola Marymount (9-7, 1-2) stayed close until the final 2 minutes. Matthew Knight had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Lions, and John Haywood added 13 points.

Trailing by 13 points at halftime, Loyola Marymount opened the second half with a 17-7 run, six by Knight, to cut Gonzaga's lead to 47-44 with 12 minutes left. Gonzaga had only one field goal in the first 6 minutes of the second half.

Turiaf's slam ended a 6-0 Gonzaga reply for a 53-44 lead.

But Loyola fought back, and Haywood's shot over Adam Morrison cut Gonzaga's lead to 58-57 with just under 6 minutes left.

Raivio's 3-pointer gave Gonzaga a 64-59 lead with 4:31 left. Loyola cut that lead to 66-63, but Gonzaga used five free throws and a put-back by Turiaf in the closing 2 minutes to build a 73-63 lead and ice the game.

In the first half, Loyola Marymount trailed just 21-17 thanks to 10 points by Knight. Batista scored seven points during a 13-2 Gonzaga run late in the first half to build a 36-21 lead.

The Lions missed their first 11 3-point attempts before Wes Wardrop hit one in the final minutes to help cut Gonzaga's halftime lead to 40-27.



Gonzaga shot 53 percent in the game, making 23 of 43 shots. Loyola Marymount made just 28 of 71 shots for 39 percent, and made just 3-of-19 3-pointers.

Loyola Marymount has lost 19 of its past 20 games against Gonzaga, winning at home in 2003. The Lions have not won in Spokane since 1991, a string of 14 losses.

Gonzaga has not lost consecutive games since losing to Stanford and Saint Joseph's midway through the 2002-03 season.

Gonzaga is 30-0 at home when ranked, and has won 18 home games in a row.

The Bulldogs remain home Saturday to face Pepperdine in a 5 p.m. start. The Waves suffered their first WCC loss in three outings in an 81-71 setback at Portland on Thursday.

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