Bulldogs Down USF For Few's 100th Win
Feb. 15, 2003
SPOKANE, Wash. - Ronny Turiaf posted his eighth career double-double and head coach Mark Few reached the career 100-win plateau as Gonzaga University fought off a tough University of San Francisco for an 82-71 West Coast Conference basketball victory Saturday.
The Bulldogs (19-6, 10-1) won for the 21st straight time against WCC competition in The Kennel in front of another sellout crowd of 4,000, while the Dons (11-12, 6-4) fell to Gonzaga for the 10th straight time and for the 15th time in the last 18 meetings.
With Gonzaga nursing a 64-62 lead with 4:49 to play, the Bulldogs went on a 12-0 run to pull away against the stubborn Dons, who lost for the 14th straight time in The Kennel. Turiaf, who had 24 points and matched his career high with 13 rebounds, connected on a pair of free throws, Blake Stepp scored two of his 27 points on a driving layin and Tony Skinner went to the line for two free throws for a 70-62 Gonzaga lead with 3:52 remaining.
Three more free throws and a Stepp trey completed the 12-0 spurt for a 76-62 lead - the Bulldogs biggest of the night - with 1:51 to go.
An evenly played first half saw the teams head to the intermission knotted at 31 as Stepp and USF's Darrell Tucker each had 12 first-half points. Tucker, who missed the earlier meeting between the teams in San Francisco with an injured thumb, finished with 26 points to match his season high. It was the first loss for the Dons in five outings since Tucker returned from missing six games.
The Dons shot 46.2 percent in the first half to 41.7 percent for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga heated up to 56.0 percent in the second half on 14-for-25, including 5-for-11 from 3-point range.
Stepp's game-high 27 included another big night from the free throw line where he went 10-for-11 to go with an 8-for-15 night from the field. He now has 1,082 career points.
Kyle Bankhead, who burned the Dons for 23 points in the Bay Area, added 13, while Tony Skinner contributed 10 off the bench.
John Cox had 16 and Shamell Stallworth 11 for USF, the only starters in double digits.
The Bulldogs were playing their first game without Richard Fox, who suffered a broken ring finger on his left hand in Thursday's win over Saint Mary's College. He's expected to miss the remainder of the regular season. Zach Gourde played 18 minutes off the bench.
For Few, the win ran his career record to 100-26, tying him for 15th with Tony Hinkle of Butler and Ray Meyer of DePaul for the quickest to 100 wins. Hinkle and Meyer also reached 100 victories in their 126th game. He also became the sixth coach in NCAA Division I history to reach 100 wins in four seasons to tie for first as the quickest to 100 in fewest years.
Gonzaga remains home next week for its final two home games of the season. The University of Portland visits Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game, followed by the University of Tulsa on Saturday for a 9 p.m. game on ESPN as part of Bracket Buster Saturday.
A Gonzaga win on Wednesday would assure the Bulldogs of no worse than a tie for first place in the WCC, pending the outcome of Saturday's late game between Loyola Mary mount and the University of San Diego. A USD loss would give Gonzaga a chance to wrap up the regular-season crown on Wednesday.
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