Bankhead Sparks Zags To 66-56 Win Over USF
Jan. 19, 2003
SAN FRANCISCO - Kyle Bankhead connected on 7-of-11 from behind the 3-point arch including three late 3's that sparked a 19-4 Gonzaga run as the Bulldogs improved to 4-0 in the West Coast Conference with a 66-56 win over San Francisco (6-10, 1-2 WCC). Gonzaga's overall record moved to 13-5 on the season as the Zags won their fifth straight contest.
With the Bulldogs down 50-44 at the 10:46 mark of the second half Bankhead put Gonzaga on his back scoring 10 of his teams next 16 points. Cory Violette opened the run with a dunk at 8:47 before Bankhead drained three 3-pointers over a five minute span including one from downtown with :02 seconds remaining on the shot clock. Bankhead set a new career high with 23 points.
Both teams opened the contest with a furious pace as Gonzaga hit 6-of-7 to open the game and the Bulldogs raced out to a 14-6 lead, Richard Fox dumping in all six of his points from the low post. San Francisco was patient and chipped away at the Bulldogs lead as John Cox scored 16 first-half points to trail 37-32 at the half. Gonzaga finished the first 20 minutes shooting at a 53 percent clip while the Dons finished shooting 55 percent.
After limiting Gonzaga to only two Blake Stepp buckets over the final six minutes of the first-half, San Francisco stepped up the defensive pressure to start the second half with a 6-0 run out of the locker room, grabbing a 38-37 advantage on James Bayless' reverse lay-up at 18:12
Following a Stepp 3-pointer and pair of free throws at 17:21, San Francisco used a 7-2 run to moved out to a 50-44 lead as Bayless again scored from the low block. After a Shamell Stallworth free throw at 10:46, San Francisco was held scoreless until Bayless tapped in a rebound at 4:41 to snap the Bulldogs decisive 15-0 run. Bayless finished with 10 points, while Cox scored only 2 second half points to finish with 18.
Stepp added 14 points and 7 assists for the Bulldogs. Cory Violette finished with 12 to round out the Bulldogs top scorers. Gonzaga has now defeated San Francisco in nine straight games opening a 1.5 game lead in the WCC standings. Gonzaga returns to action on Friday night when the Zags travel to Portland for WCC action. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Net and KGA 1510 AM radio.
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