No. 5 Gonzaga Wins 62-61 Thriller Over St. Mary's
Feb. 6, 2006
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Sean Mallon's free throw with less than a second to play lifted No. 5 Gonzaga to a 62-61 victory over Saint Mary's on Monday night and extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 35 games.
The Bulldogs (19-3, 9-0 West Coast Conference) won their 10th straight game, tying Memphis and George Washington for the longest current streak.
Adam Morrison, the nation's leading scorer struggled throughout the game with his shooting, but he tied the game at 61 by making two free throws with 52 seconds left.
Todd Golden missed a long 3-pointer for the Gaels and the Zags got the rebound with 28 seconds left
Morrison dribbled the clock down to a few seconds and then grazed the front of the rim on a midrange jumper. Gonzaga got the rebound and, with .5 seconds left, Derek Raivio inbounded the ball to Mallon under the basket and he was fouled by Daniel Kickert as the buzzer sounded.
The officials checked the replay and put .3 seconds back on the clock.
Mallon, an 80 percent free throw shooter who had made his first three attempts in the game, missed the first. He made the second and Gonzaga stole the inbounds pass to end the game.
Morrison finished with 20 points on 7-for-20 shooting, 3-for-6 from 3-point range.
J.P. Batista finished with 21 points for Gonzaga and Mallon had 10.
Kickert led the Gaels with 15 points.
Saint Mary's (10-11, 3-6) has lost 21 of the past 22 games against Gonzaga, but the Gaels played with poise in front of a howling crowd at McCarthey Athletic Center, where the Zags have not lost since the building opened last season.
Saint Mary's led 33-30 at halftime, the first time this season the Zags trailed a WCC opponent at the break.
Morrison, who scored only nine points in the first half on 4-of-10 shooting, picked up his third foul early in the second half.
The teams traded the lead six times in the opening minutes of the second half. Consecutive baskets by Batista, David Pendergraft and Erroll Knight lifted Gonzaga to a 46-40 lead with 12:37 left.
Morrison, who came in averaging 28.8 points, came back in and immediately hit a 3-pointer for a 49-42 lead.
But Saint Mary's went on an 8-0 run with Golden's two free throws giving them a 50-49 lead. After Mallon made a layup for the Zags, Diamon Simpson scored three consecutive baskets for a 56-51 Saint Mary's lead.
Morrison picked up his fourth foul with 5:29 left and the Zags trailing 56-53
Brett Collins' basket gave Saint Mary's a 61-56 lead with 1:52 left. Morrison's slam and free throw cut the Gaels' lead to 61-59.
In the first game between the teams, Saint Mary's trailed Gonzaga by just two points with 5 minutes left before losing 68-60.
Gonzaga has not lost at home since Portland beat them on Feb. 19, 2003.
The only teams to beat Gonzaga this season are No. 1 Connecticut, No. 3 Memphis and No. 21 Washington.
Gonzaga hosts Stanford on Saturday.
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