Gonzaga Has Happy Homecoming In Win
Feb 1, 2003
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Blake Stepp scored 26 points and the Gonzaga Bulldogs beat Santa Clara 96-62 in a West Coast Conference game on Saturday.
Ronny Turiaf added 16 points and Tony Skinner had 15 for the Bulldogs (16-5 overall, 7-0 WCC), who led 26-6 after holding the Broncos to two field goals in the first 13 minutes. Skinner re-sprained his left ankle early in the second half and did not return to action.
It was Gonzaga's eighth straight victory, its 18th straight WCC win over the past two seasons and the school's 19th straight WCC home victory.
J.R. Patrick led Santa Clara (11-9, 2-5) with 16 points, while Brandon Rohe added 14.
Stepp, whose 26 points upped his career total to 984 as he bids to become the 25th member of Gonzaga's 1,000-point club, sparked Gonzaga in the first half by sinking 5-of-8 shots from 3-point range. The Bulldogs out rebounded Santa Clara 23-9 in the first half and 42-22 for the game before the usual sellout crowd of 4,000 at Martin Centre in attendance for Homecoming. It was the 17th time in 21 games the Bulldogs have won the battle of the boards,
Gonzaga outscored Santa Clara 32-8 in the paint.
The Bulldogs won their fourth in a row at home since Saint Joseph's ended the Bulldogs' 29-game home winning streak Dec. 31. Gonzaga is 19-0 at home in league games the last three years and 52-2 overall at home the last five seasons.
Stepp, a junior guard, tied his career high with seven 3-pointers (in 13 attempts). He also had seven assists and no turnovers in 34 minutes.
Gonzaga outshot Santa Clara 57-34 percent from the field, including 52-37 percent on 3-pointers.
The Bulldogs return to the road next week, heading to Malibu, Calif., to face Pepperdine in a rare Wednesday night game and then playing at Loyola Marymount University. Wednesday's game is part of ESPN's Rivlary Week, with the Gonzaga-Pepperdine contest the 9 p.m. PST contest of a tripleheader that also features Duke and North Carolina, and Louisville and Cincinnati.
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