Gonzaga Breaks Away Late To Top USF

Jan 24, 2002

Box Score

Associated Press Writer

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - On a night when Dan Dickau was having trouble with his shooting, fellow guard Blake Stepp picked up the slack for Gonzaga.

The 16th-ranked Bulldogs got 21 points from Stepp and used a 20-4 second-half run to beat San Francisco 93-73 on Thursday night.

Dickau was 7-for-20 from the field and finished with 19 points. Stepp, who has been dogged by injuries this season, was 8-of-11 from the field.

The Bulldogs also dominated the rebounding by a 49-28 margin.

"This is the first time we've put a full 40 minutes together in a long time," Dickau said.

Gonzaga led just 46-44 after a hard-fought first half in which San Francisco shot nearly 57 percent.

With Gonzaga ahead 49-48, Dickau ignited the Bulldogs' big run with a three-point play and freshman Ronny Turiaf dunked on consecutive possessions for a 61-50 lead with 14:39 to play.

San Francisco was held scoreless for nearly five minutes before Shamell Stallworth, who finished with 14 points, finally connected. But Stepp responded with three consecutive baskets and Gonzaga built a 69-52 lead.

Zach Gourde added 17 points for Gonzaga, while Anthony Reason and Cory Violette each had 10.

Gonzaga had 19 offensive rebounds, which San Francisco coach Philip Mathews called the key to the game.

"We gave them two and three shots," Mathews said. "That's unusual for us."

But Mathews was pleased with the first half, when the Dons were positioning themselves to try and end Gonzaga's home winning streak at 21 games.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few got to the arena only an hour before tipoff because he helped carry the Olympic torch earlier in the evening as it passed through Spokane.



"We played with a lot of emotion tonight," Few said. "We're better when we're attacking. When we stand around and are dodging bullets we're not very good."

Hondre Brewer and Tayo Akinsete also had 14 points for San Francisco.

Gonzaga (17-3, 4-1 West Coast Conference), which improved to 39-1 at home over the past four years, is off to the best start in school history.

San Francisco (8-10, 3-2) scored only 10 points in the first 11 minutes of the second half and shot just 33 percent in the half after shooting nearly 57 percent in the first half.

Dickau's 3-pointer launched a 9-0 run for an 18-11 lead. But consecutive 3-pointers by John Cox and Stallworth allowed the Dons to tie the score 19-19.

Stepp's 3-pointer tied the game 30-30 and Gonzaga clawed to a 46-40 lead on Dickau's reverse layup. But two free throws by Brewer and Stallworth's driving layup at the buzzer cut Gonzaga's lead to 46-44 at halftime.

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