No. 11 Gonzaga Drops One To San Francisco

Jan. 21, 2005

Box Score

By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer

SAN FRANCISCO - Jerome Gumbs had 18 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and San Francisco snapped a 12-game losing streak to Gonzaga by shocking the 11th-ranked Bulldogs 73-70 on Thursday night.

The Dons improved to 9-0 at home this season behind 10 3-pointers, but they had to hold off a furious comeback attempt in the closing minutes. USF (11-6, 2-2 West Coast Conference) upset a Top-20 opponent for the first time since an 82-69 victory over No. 13 Xavier on Nov. 28, 1998, in the Puerto Rico Shootout.

Derek Raivio scored seven straight points in the final two minutes for the Zags (13-4, 3-2), who pulled to 72-70 on David Pendergraft's 3-pointer with 11.3 seconds left.

USF's Dommanic Ingerson then missed the first of two free throws with 9.3 seconds to go, giving Gonzaga a final chance to tie it with a 3. But Raivio missed from long range at the top of the arc moments before the final buzzer sounded, setting off a wild celebration at midcourt.

Hundreds of students from the sellout crowd of 5,300 stormed the court at Memorial Gym after watching the home team outhustle and outshoot Gonzaga, which has reached the NCAA tournament every year since 1999.

Now, the standings are clogged again in the balanced West Coast Conference.

John Cox added 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists in USF's biggest win over a conference opponent since the Dons beat the Zags 80-67 in the WCC tournament final in 1998 to reach the NCAA tournament.

Raivio finished with 18 points and Ronny Turiaf had 18 points and 10 rebounds. J.P. Batista added 15 points and nine boards for the Zags, who trailed by as many as 19 in the second half and shot 41 percent.


 

 

Turiaf hit two free throws with 1:44 left to make it 68-60 after drawing Alan Wiggins' fifth foul. After two free throws by Tyrone Riley on the other end, Raivio scored and Adam Morrison stole the ensuing inbounds pass. Raivio then hit a jumper with 1:02 to go to make it 70-64.

Gonzaga, which came out in a scrappy man-to-man defense, beat Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine at home following an 89-81 loss at Saint Mary's on Jan. 8 in the team's last trip to the Bay Area.

USF exposed Gonzaga's inconsistent perimeter defense, which gave up 16 3s in the Saint Mary's game.

The Zags used a 10-0 spurt to pull to 58-49 with 10:43 left. But the Dons kept hitting big shots and going to the floor for loose balls.

Cox, the WCC's leading scorer, came in averaging 27.3 points in conference play. The 6-foot-8 Morrison defended Cox and limited him to 4-for-17 shooting.

Cox hit consecutive 3s during a 9-0 run late in the first half that gave the Dons a 34-21 lead. He scored a career-high 31 points Saturday as USF rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat San Diego 78-73, the first WCC victory for new Dons coach Jessie Evans.

Gonzaga played without starting guard Erroll Knight, who sprained his left foot in practice Wednesday. Knight stood up for much of the game, nervously tugging at his sweat pants.

Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes started in Knight's place and finished with no points.

Gonzaga struggled to move the ball effectively on offense early and was held without a basket for 3{ minutes during one stretch. USF committed five early turnovers, but took the lead with strong 3-point shooting and held a 42-27 edge at the break.

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