Morrison, Batista Top 30 Points Each
Feb. 14, 2006
Batista matched a career high with 32 points and added 10 rebounds to help No. 5 Gonzaga win its 12th straight game, 97-83 over Portland on Monday night.
Morrison had 33 points, and Sean Mallon had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (21-3, 10-0 West Coast Conference) in their 18th straight league victory.
Morrison, Batista and Mallon, the only Gonzaga players in double figures, combined for 77 of the team's points.
"That's J.P. all year. He doesn't draw a lot of attention to himself, but he's been amazingly consistent all year," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "At the end of the night, pick up the stats, and he's got a double-double."
Batista acknowledged he's not out to grab attention.
"That's kind of how I am ... quietly going in and getting the job done," he said.
The Bulldogs, who led by as many as 23 points, have a six-game winning streak against Portland, and they've defeated the Pilots in Portland 10 straight times.
Pooh Jeter had a season-high 31 points for the Pilots (8-16, 2-8), who have lost six straight overall. Darren Cooper added 23.
The crowd of 4,574 was the ninth largest in Chiles Center history, and it was clear that many of them had made the drive from Spokane.
Morrison had 16 points at the half as Gonzaga took a 44-32 lead. The Pilots led in the opening minutes, but Morrison's 3-pointer put the Bulldogs ahead 7-6 and they never trailed again.
Morrison, who went into the game as the nation's second-best scorer behind Duke's J.J. Reddick, hit another 3-pointer early in the second half that made it 61-38.
He had 42 points, including six 3-pointers, on Jan. 28 in the Bulldogs' 81-64 home win over Portland.
He scored 12 of his game-high 34 points in the final 3 minutes Saturday in Gonzaga's 80-76 home nonconference victory against Stanford.
"I was worried a little bit after the emotional weekend we had in Spokane," Few said. "I thought we might be emotionally spent but we came out and showed some energy.
Morrison didn't show any letdown. It was the 10th time he has scored 30 or more points this season.
"It doesn't matter whether I score 40 or 20, we're just trying to win games," he said.
The Pilots were playing without sophomore forward Marcus Lewis, who left the team on Friday after he was suspended indefinitely by coach Michael Holton. Lewis was averaging 10.9 points and 4.7 rebounds.
Portland narrowed the margin to 12 at 92-80 with 1:11 left on Donald Wilson's layup, but could not get closer. Morrison and Batista had already left the game for good.
Afterward, Jeter held some handmade valentines from some young fans, but he was obviously disappointed the Pilots didn't keep up.
"They showed why they're the No. 5 team in the country," he said.
Holton said Jeter and Cooper should be proud of how they did against their ranked opponent.
"We're certainly on the path to bigger and better things," Holton said.
Portland has not beaten a ranked opponent since a 68-63 victory over 19th-ranked Oregon State on Dec. 11, 1981, at Portland's Memorial Coliseum.
The Bulldogs, who have the nation's longest home winning streak at 36 games, were last beaten in Spokane by Portland, a 72-68 upset on Feb. 19, 2003.
Gonzaga's 12-game winning streak matches No. 7 George Washington for the nation's longest current streak. Third-ranked Memphis, which plays Southern Mississippi on Tuesday, has won 11 straight.
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