Bulldogs Bounce Back To Rout Saint Mary's
Feb 14, 2003
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Blake Stepp scored 28 points and Cory Violette added 16 Thursday night in Gonzaga University's 73-49 romp over Saint Mary's College in a West Coast Conference game in front of a sellout crowd of 4,000 in The Kennel.
Five days after suffering their first WCC setback of the season, the Bulldogs (18-6, 9-1) wasted little time in deciding the outcome of this one, their 20th straight win in The Kennel against WCC competition. Gonzaga was never threatened after snapping an 8-8 tie with an 11-0 run. The Bulldogs outscored the Gaels 17-0 in 10-plus minutes starting late in the first half in building a 47-29 halftime advantage as Stepp had 18 points and Violette nine at the intermission.
The Bulldogs went ahead 62-29 after scoring the first 15 points of the second half when Saint Mary's (11-11, 4-5) went scoreless for the first 8:58 of the second half. Counting the final 1:24 of the first half when the Gaels went scoreless, Saint Mary's went 10:22 without a point until Samuel Saint-Jean got an easy layin.
Tyler Herr and Jonathan Sanders each had 11 points for Saint Mary's. The Gaels have lost three consecutive games overall and 13 straight to Gonzaga.
The 49 points was a season low for Saint Mary's and tied the season low for a Gonzaga opponent. Gonzaga edged Saint Mary's 56-53 in their last meeting Jan. 17, a game the Gales led 46-38 with 8:28 to play.
The Bulldogs out rebounded the Gaels 39-27, had a 10-4 edge in steals, an 18-11 advantage in assists and a 21-13 edge in turnovers.
Stepp went 7-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-6 on 3-pointers, and sank all 10 of his free throws. He now has 1,055 career points to move into 22nd on the all-time Gonzaga list, edging past Jarrod David (1,054) on Thursday.
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few also altered his starting lineup, putting Ronny Turiaf into the mix in place of Richard Fox in an attempt to get more minutes with Turiaf and Violette in the game together. Fox also suffered an injured ring finger on his left hand late in the first half and did not return. He will be x-rayed Friday.
Junior guard Tony Skinner, who missed both games last week in Los Angles after re-injuring a sprained left ankle, returned to action Thursday, playing 14 minutes.
Thursday's win, coupled with Pepperdine University's 98-93 win at the University of San Diego, gives the Bulldogs at least a two-game lead over the rest of the WCC. The University of San Francisco, a 72-55 winner Thursday at the University of Portland, is tied for second with USD at 6-3. USF visits the sold out Kennel Saturday for a 6 p.m. game to be televised in Spokane on KHQ-TV and in the Bay Area on KRON-TV.
Few, in his fourth season as head coach of the Bulldogs, will be in search of his 100th career win on Saturday. He is 99-26 in his career as he bids to tie for 15th as the quickest coach to 100 wins. Tony Hinkle of Butler University and Ray Meyer of DePaul University both reached 100 wins in their 126th game. Few would become the sixth coach to win 100 games in four seasons to tie for first for the fewest years to 100 wins.
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