Men's Basketball Seniors Leave Kennel A Winner
Feb. 19, 2000
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University's five seniors played an emotional home finale in The Kennel Saturday night, and they left a victor with a 93-66 West Coast Conference victory over Saint Mary's College.
The win kept Gonzaga (20-7, 10-2) one game behind Pepperdine University in the chase for the WCC regular-season title. Pepperdine (21-6, 11-1) downed Loyola Marymount 77-65 Saturday.
With senior Richie Frahm breaking out of a mild shooting slump with a 10-for-14 night on his way to 26 points, the Bulldogs overcame a 20-19 deficit with a 20-2 first-half run and coasted to the victory. This is the third straight season the Bulldogs have posted 20 wins, and the sixth time in the last seven seasons Gonzaga has reached the 20-win plateau.
With a packed Kennel crowd of 4,093 on hand, the Bulldogs missed five of their first seven shots as Santangelo and Frahm connected for 3-pointers for the only Bulldog points in the first 4:30 as the Gaels held a 10-6 lead. Frahm's steal and slam dunk pulled the Bulldogs even at 10-10, but the teams battled on equal terms until Gonzaga took the lead for good when Casey Calvary converted a pair of free throws for a 21-20 lead with 8:40 remaining in the first half. That got the Bulldogs off and running on their way to a 39-22 advantage with 2:17 to go when Jimmy Tricco nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner.
Frahm scored 16 of his points in the opening half, hitting 6-of-9 field goal attempts and 2-of-3 from long range. Gonzaga shot 47.2 percent from the field in the first half, while the Gaels connected for just 36.7 percent. Gonzaga was 7-of-17 from long range in the first half, Saint Mary's 2-of-9.
The second half was much the same story as Gonzaga built on its 48-28 halftime lead. The lead grew to as much as 30 on three occasions. Head coach Mark Few began clearing his bench with just under the 5:00 mark as each of the seasons were taken out of the game one-by-one to a thunderous standing ovation. Few also became the seventh WCC rookie coach to win 20 games his first season.
Gonzaga concludes the regular season on the road next weekend with a pair of challenging games Friday at Santa Clara University and Sunday in a television matinee at the University of San Francisco. h The Bulldogs need some help to gain at least a share of their fourth WCC regular-season crown in the last five years. Pepperdine finishes the season with road games Thursday at San Diego and Saturday at Saint Mary's. The WCC Tournament begins a week from next Saturday at Santa Clara's Toso Pavilion.
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