Gonzaga Remains Undefeated In WCC
Feb 6, 2004
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Ronny Turiaf scored 22 points and No. 8 Gonzaga beat Pepperdine 93-73 on Thursday night for its 11th consecutive win.
Blake Stepp added 18 points for Gonzaga (18-2, 8-0 West Coast Conference), now 21-0 at home when ranked.
Pepperdine (9-14, 4-4) has been Gonzaga's closest rival in the WCC in recent years, winning the league crown in 2000 and sharing it with Gonzaga in 2002. But the Waves have now lost nine of their past 10 against the Bulldogs.
Yakhouba Diawara, in his sixth game since resolving NCAA eligibility issues, led Pepperdine with 24 points. Terrance Johnson added 17.
In a battle between the top two offenses in the WCC, Turiaf scored eight points as Gonzaga jumped to a 22-7 lead in the first eight minutes. Pepperdine made a 12-2 run late in the first half to close to 41-30.
But Gonzaga led 50-36 at halftime, thanks to 70 percent shooting (19-of-27). Turiaf made all four of his field goals and all eight of his free throws for 16 points in the first half.
The teams traded baskets in the second half, with Pepperdine unable to make up ground even as Gonzaga's shooting cooled off.
Johnson scored seven points during an 11-2 run as Pepperdine closed to 66-57 with 10:46 left. But the Waves kept sending Gonzaga to the free throw line, with Stepp hitting three to rebuild the Bulldogs' lead to 73-61.
Stepp hit a 3-pointer and two free throws, and Erroll Knight and Adam Morrison added baskets as Gonzaga took an 86-67 lead with 3 minutes left.
Saint Joseph's and Stanford, the only remaining undefeated teams in Division I, handed Gonzaga its only losses this season.
Gonzaga is 146-10 at home the past 12 seasons.
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