Gonzaga Men Romp Past San Diego 89-65
Jan. 30, 2003
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University used an 11-2 run late in the first half to break from a 23-23 deadlock and went on to coast to a surprisingly easy 89-65 West Coast Conference men's basketball victory over the University of San Diego Thursday night in The Kennel.
The Bulldogs (15-5, 6-0) remained the only undefeated in WCC play by taking the lopsided win in a battle of the early-season top two teams in the conference. USD (9-9, 3-2) and the rest of the field now trail the Bulldogs by at least two games in the loss column as the halfway point of the season arrives Saturday. Gonzaga will host Santa Clara University (11-8, 2-4), a 72-47 victim at the University of Portland (9-10, 2-4) on Thursday, while USD travels to Portland.
With the score knotted at 23 with 7:34 to go in the opening half, the Bulldogs got an inside basket from Ronny Turiaf for two of his game-high 22 points, Zach Gourde followed with a pair of free throws and Tony Skinner drilled a 3-pointer to put the Bulldogs up 30-25. A USD turnover led to a Winston Brooks jumper and Cory Violette ended the run with a basket in the paint for the 34-25 advantage with an even 4:00 to go in the half.
After a pair of free throws by USD's Nick Lewis cut the Gonzaga lead to 36-30, the Bulldogs went on a 7-0 run to end the half for a 43-30 advantage. A dunk by Turiaf on an alley-oop from Brooks, a layin from Turiaf and a 3-pointer with :08 to go from Josh Reisman gave the Bulldogs a healthy 43-30 halftime lead.
The second half was all Bulldogs as the lead grew to 57-37 in the first five minutes
of second half, Blake Stepp with three of his five 3-pointers for the game in that early second-half 14-7 Gonzaga run. Stepp finished with 21 points, finishing 6-of-10 from the field, including 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. The biggest Gonzaga advantage was 29 points at 85-56.
Jason Keep, USD's big mane at 6-10, 290 from nearby Moscow, Idaho, paced the Toreros with 16 points on a 6-for-7 game from the field, but he went just 4-of-11 from the free throw line.
The win was the 18th straight WCC home victory for the Bulldogs since an 82-70 setback to the Toreros in 2000. Gonzaga has won eight straight overall against USD since that Kennel setback and 12 of the last 15.
Gonzaga won the battle of the boards 38-30, the 16th time in 20 games the Bulldogs have been superior on the boards. Gonzaga is 14-2 in games they've won the boards, 1-3 in games they've been out rebounded.
Saturday is Homecoming at Gonzaga with fans encouraged to wear blue in the 5 p.m. game against SCU that is already sold out. The game can be seen locally on KHQ-TV and also heard on 1510 KGA in Spokane and via the Gonzaga internet.
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