No. 6 Gonzaga Wins 16th Straight
Feb 21, 2004
By KELLY KURT
TULSA, Okla. - No. 6 Gonzaga didn't need a 20-point victory to make its point to Tulsa about two programs going in opposite directions.
Tulsa took Saturday's 76-56 loss as a lesson just the same.
"Where we want to get is where they are," Golden Hurricane coach John Phillips said, "in every area - teamwork, post play and guard play."
Last year, both teams were angling for a berth in the NCAA tournament, upholding their reputations as small private universities known for toppling giants in the opening rounds.
But as Gonzaga (23-2) moved to its 16th straight victory on Tony Skinner's rebounding and 3-point shooting, Tulsa (7-17) fell to its seventh straight loss in a season going nowhere.
"College basketball is reciprocal," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few cautioned. "We lose five guys next year, five seniors that have accomplished more than anyone before them.
"We are going to go through some running pains with our young groups, too," he said.
Skinner is one of those seniors. He scored 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range and tied Cory Violette with a team-leading 10 rebounds. The Bulldogs finished with a 48-25 rebound advantage.
Three of Skinner's 3-pointers came as the Bulldogs overtook Tulsa on the way to a 41-32 halftime lead.
Tulsa had five steals early and led by as many as seven points in the first half, but the Golden Hurricane missed six of 11 free throws in the opening 20 minutes and the Bulldogs took advantage.
Anthony Price and Jarius Glenn each had 13 points for the Golden Hurricane.
"We great defensive intensity in the first 15 minutes," Glenn said.
"Against a team that good, you can't take breaks for a second."
Few's team came prepared for a struggling Tulsa team playing with emotion.
But "I thought after the first 4 or 6 minutes we got back to playing the way we play and kind of took them out of it," Few said. "That's one thing this team has is a variety of answers."
Gonzaga's depth showed with five players scoring in the double figures.
Violette hit a 3-pointer and Erroll Knight added six points in a 10-0 run over the first 4 minutes of the second half that gave Gonzaga a 19-point lead and Tulsa never challenged after that.
Jason Parker added 10 points for Tulsa.
The game was a rematch of last year's inaugural "Bracket Buster," an ESPN event that highlights mid-major programs. Gonzaga overcame an 11-point deficit in that game to win 69-60.
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