Men's Basketball Edges Portland 77-72
Jan. 20, 2001
PORTLAND, Ore. - Gonzaga University went 20-for-26 from the free throw line in the second half to hold off the University of Portland 77-72 Saturday in a West Coast Conference men's basketball game in the Chiles Center.
In contrast to Wednesday's 81-57 win for the Bulldogs (12-5, 4-0) over the Pilots (9-8, 2-2) in The Kennel in Spokane, Saturday's game had all the makings of a Portland upset.
As they had Wednesday in taking a 47-17 halftime lead, the Bulldogs tried to put the Pilots away early, taking as much as a 13-point first-half lead at 30-17 with 5:09 to go following a Germayne Forbes steal and coast-to-coast drive for a layin. But unlike Wednesday, the Bulldogs were never able to finish putting Portland away.
The Bulldogs led 37-26 at the half, then came out the second half and got the first basket for a 39-26 lead on a Dan Dickau steal and layin. The Bulldogs still held a 46-36 advantage with 13:17 to play, but the lead quickly diminished as the Pilots went on a 12-3 spurt to cut the deficit to 49-48 with 11:12 remaining.
Several more times the Bulldogs pushed the lead back to double digits, the last time at 70-59 with 2:20 to play on a pair of Dickau free throws to complete a 12-3 run by the visitors. Bryan Mills nailed a 3-pointer to start the Pilots on an 11-3 run that cut the Gonzaga lead to 73-70 with :13 to play, Ryan Jones scoring the final 6 Portland points in that stretch on a layin and a pair of jumpers.
The Bulldogs, who went 3-of-5 from the free throw line in the first half, got 6-of-7 free throws from Dickau in the final :20 to seal the victory as the final 9 Bulldog points came at the free throw line, Casey Calvary scoring a layin with 2:56 to play. Dickau led four Bulldogs in double figures with 19 points, 13 in the second half including 9-of-10 from the line. Calvary had 18 points and a game-high 7 rebounds, Zach Gourde scored 13 points and Blake Stepp added 10.
Calvary also tied Scott Thompson of the University of San Diego for the WCC career lead in blocked shots with his 183rd.
Ryan Jones, back in the starting lineup for the Pilots following a 5-game absence due mainly to a sprained ankle, scored a game-high 21 points, 14 in the second half, to lead three Pilots in double figures.
The Bulldogs, who won for the fifth straight time over the Pilots in the Chiles Center and for the 11th straight time in the series, remained tied with Pepperdine University for first place as the only two undefeated teams at 4-0.
Gonzaga returns home Thursday to face Santa Clara University, with a Saturday visit from the University of San Diego. Action both nights starts at 7 p.m.
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