Men's Basketball Home Streak Snapped By San Diego
Feb. 17, 2000
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga's 20-game home court winning streak, 8th among NCAA Division I schools heading into the contest, was snapped Thursday night when San Diego posted an 82-70 West Coast Conference victory in The Kennel.
It also prevented the Bulldogs (19-7, 9-2 in the WCC) from retaining their share of the WCC lead with Pepperdine (20-6, 10-1), a Wednesday winner over Loyola Marymount.
The Toreros built as much as a 14 point lead in the first half as the Bulldogs again started slowly in front of the home fans. Gonzaga has trailed late in the first half in four of its last five home games but had rallied to win the four previous outings.
After falling behind by as many as 19 points in the second half at 61-42 with 10:57 to play, Gonzaga cut the lead to 65-59 when Axel Dench's tipin brought the crowd to life. But USD's Sam Adamo drilled a 3-pointer, Dench hit 1-of-2 free throws and Cameron Rigby got a putback and the Toreros had the lead back to 70-60 with 4:17 to play and the clock quickly becoming the Bulldogs' biggest enemy.
Ryan Floyd's steal and breakaway slam dunk pulled Gonzaga to within 70-63 with 3:08 to play, but again USD responded, Andre Laws sinking a pair of free throws for two of his game-high 20 points, and Matt Delzell converting 1-of-2 free throws and suddenly the USD lead was back to 10 at 73-63 with 2:14 remaining.
Gonzaga never got the lead back to single digits as USD hit 7-of-8 free throws in the final 1:58 to wrap up the victory and snap the Gonzaga streak in The Kennel. The loss also halted a 14-game WCC home court winning streak by the Bulldogs, Pepperdine the last team to prevail 65-64 during the 1997-98 season.
Gonzaga, which had shot 50.0 percent or better from the field in 9 of the last 11 games, hit just 37.1 percent from the field on 27-of-62, the lowest percentage since the Bulldogs hit 39.3 percent against California in the Pete Newell Challenge on Dec. 21.
Laws was one of three USD starters in double figures. Tyler Field scored 19 points and Tom Lippold 17, and Adamo came off the bench to contribute 10.
The victory brightened an otherwise somber week for USD head coach Brad Holland, whose father, Ray, passed away Sunday.
Gonzaga makes its final home appearance of the season Saturday when Saint Mary's visits for a 7 p.m. contest which is already a sellout. SMC was a 74-68 loser Thursday at Portland.
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