No. 16 Gonzaga Slams Saint Mary's, 70-52
Jan 26, 2002
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga's Cory Violette scored the first basket of the game, and then watched his team score 10 more points in the opening four minutes.
All of that before Saint Mary's even got on the scoreboard.
The Gaels never caught up as No. 16 Gonzaga took a 26-point halftime lead and routed Saint Mary's 70-52 on Saturday night.
"We wanted to make sure we had high energy because sometimes we can come out flat," Violette said of the quick start by Gonzaga (18-3, 5-1 West Coast Conference).
But it was Saint Mary's (5-14, 0-6) that was flattened.
The Gaels shot just 22 percent and committed 12 turnovers in the first half to trail 43-17 at halftime. Gonzaga used a variety of defenses to send the Gaels to their eighth consecutive loss.
They fared a little better against Gonzaga's substitutes in the second half, but trailed by at least 20 points for most of the game.
Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett was making his first trip to Martin Centre, where Gonzaga has won 23 straight games. He said the 4,000 noisy fans packed into the tight gym were a factor.
"They can't hear what we're saying," Bennett said of his players. "In a lot of gyms I can help them, but I couldn't help them here."
"We are not experienced enough to come into this environment and play well yet," said Bennett, whose team featured freshman Adam Caporn at point guard and two sophomores as starters.
Dan Dickau led Gonzaga with 19 points, while Violette added 13 points and eight rebounds. The Bulldogs hit 63 percent of their shots in the first half and finished at 50 percent for the game. Saint Mary's made just 19 of 56 shots for 33 percent.
"We didn't play as well as we wanted to in the second half," Dickau said, after the Gaels outscored Gonzaga 35-27 in the closing half.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few substituted freely for much of the game, resting starters Zach Gourde and Violette while experimenting with different combinations off the bench.
"For 25 minutes we played very solid," Few said. "Saint Mary's loosened up in the second half."
Gonzaga has beaten Saint Mary's 12 consecutive times.
Paul Marigney scored 15 points and Anthony Woodards added 11 for Saint Mary's.
Gonzaga opened with a 12-0 run, capped by Anthony Reason's 3-pointer. Chase Poole's putback finally got the Gaels on the scoreboard with 15:30 left in the half.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Kyle Bankhead and Dickau lifted Gonzaga to a 24-7 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half.
The Gaels didn't score their 10th point until Poole's basket with 7:35 left in the half.
Dickau's jump shot at the buzzer gave Gonzaga a 43-17 halftime lead. Dickau had 13 points in the first half as Gonzaga made 14 of its 22 shots.
Saint Mary's made only 6-of-27 field goals in the first half, for 22 percent, and committed 12 turnovers to only four for Gonzaga.
In the second half, Marigney's 3-pointer cut Saint Mary's deficit to under 20 points at 47-28. But Gonzaga scored the next 10 points to build a 57-28 lead.
"They are a Top 10 team," Bennett said of Gonzaga. "There are great players just playing roles for them."
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