Bulldogs Stop LMU To Set Up Pepperdine Showdown
Feb. 15, 2001
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University got a 3-pointer from Blake Stepp 13 seconds into the contest, and the Bulldogs never looked back in posting a 101-68 West Coast Conference men's basketball victory over Loyola Marymount University Thursday in front of another sellout crowd of 4,000 in The Kennel.
The win pushed Gonzaga's (19-5, 11-0) school record winning streak to 13, keeping the Bulldogs tied with Hofstra University for the second-longest current winning streak in the NCAA Division I ranks. The University of North Carolina has won 18 straight.
Gonzaga's 11th straight victory over the Lions (7-17, 3-8) set up Saturday's home finale showdown in The Kennel with Pepperdine University (18-6, 10-1) for first place in the WCC. Gonzaga won the first meeting between the teams 93-79 in Malibu, Calif. Saturday's 3 p.m. matinee will be broadcast on most FOX Sports Net affiliates on the West Coast.
Following Stepp's trey to start the game the Lions got a rebound basket from Pablo Machado to pull to within 3-2 with 17:34 to go in the half. That was as close as the Lions would get the rest of the night as the Bulldogs raced to a 15-5 lead at the 11:24 mark on a Cory Violette rebound basket and the Bulldogs were off and running on a 22-4 spurt for a 32-9 lead with 5:31 remaining in the opening half. Dan Dickau's 3-pointer from the right corner capped the run and gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the half.
The second half was much the same story, the Bulldogs opening a 32-point lead at 67-35 when Casey Calvary buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 13:55 to play. The lead didn't get under 30 points the final 5:29 and got to as many as 38 points at 99-61 with 1:52 remaining. Gonzaga reached the century mark on Jay Sherrell's slam dunk with 42 second left. The last time Gonzaga reached 100 points at home was last year in a 103-56 win over the Lions.
Calvary, one of two Bulldog seniors playing his next-to-last game in front of the home fans, scored 25 points on an 8-for-13 night from the field and an 8-for-11 outing from the free throw line. He scored 15 points in the second half, connecting on 5-of-7 shots from the field.
Calvary was one of five Bulldogs in double figures. Mark Spink, who will join Calvary as the other lone senior in Saturday's home finale, had 14 points, 8 in the first half. He finished 6-of-8 from the field and also grabbed a game-high 9 rebounds. Dickau had 12 points, all from 3-point range on a 4-for-8 night from beyond the arc, and reserves Kyle Bankhead and Alex Hernandez each came off the bench for 10 points. Bankhead was making his first appearance since the opening weekend of WCC play, sidelined with a broken third metacarpal of the left hand. He was cleared to play Wednesday and saw 10 minutes of action, going 2-for-3 from the field - all from 3-point range - and 4-for-4 from the line.
Robert Davis led the Lions with 13 points, reseves Tyler McClenahan and Sherman Gay had 12 and 11, respectively, and Elton Mashack added 10 points.
Gonzaga, which had shot 65.3 percent from the field in winning the first meeting against the Lions in Los Angeles, hit 55.0 percent from the field on 33-of-60. gonzaga shot 62.1 percent in the second half on 18-of-29. The Lions had another poor shooting night from the field against Gonzaga. LMU hit 25-of-69 shots for 36.2 percent after hitting just 37.7 percent in an 84-64 loss to Gonzaga in the earlier meeting.
If Gonzaga downs Pepperdine on Saturday, the Bulldogs will clinch the No. 1 seed into the WCC Tournament March 3-5 with a week remaining in the regular season. A Pepperdine win would deadlock the two teams, and if they would both win their final two games next week the No. 1 seed would be determined by a coin toss since each team would hold a win in the season series.
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