Second-Half Surge Carries Bulldogs Past USD
Feb. 25, 2006
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - J.P. Batista had 26 points and 11 rebounds and No. 5 Gonzaga held off stubborn San Diego 75-59 on Saturday night to win its 37th consecutive home game, longest streak in the nation.
Adam Morrison, the nation's leading scorer at 29 points per game, was held to a season-low 11 points, but Gonzaga (24-3, 13-0) kept alive its hopes of a second undefeated West Coast Conference season in three years.
San Diego (16-10, 6-7) led early in the second half, but Batista scored 18 points after halftime to sink the Toreros' hopes.
Nick Lewis scored 13 points and Ross DeRogatis and Nir Cohen had 10 apiece for San Diego, which had just seven field goals in the second half.
Gonzaga has not lost at home since Feb. 19, 2003, to Portland. Hofstra is second with 20 straight home wins. The Bulldogs won their 15th straight game overall, second longest in the nation behind George Washington's 16 straight. They have won 22 straight league games.
San Diego lost just 64-63 at home against Gonzaga a month ago, and has dropped seven straight to the Zags.
Morrison, held to 16 points by San Diego's Corey Belser in the first meeting, made just three of 11 shots from the field. His previous low was 15 against Idaho in the season opener. He scored only two points in the second half.
With San Diego leading by two at halftime, Lewis opened the second with a 3-pointer and DeRogatis made a jumper for a 43-36 Toreros lead.
Gonzaga replied with a 25-7 run, nine by Batista, for a 61-50 lead with 7:01 left.
San Diego went 6 minutes without a field goal during the run.
Batista, who finished 11-of-14 from the field, scored eight straight points to help Gonzaga build a 69-52 lead with 3 minutes left.
San Diego's Brandon Johnson made a 3-pointer to tie it at 31 with 3:10 left in the first half. DeRogatis' 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Toreros a 38-36 lead at halftime.
Batista played just 11 minutes in the first because he had two fouls.
Morrison is a fraction ahead of Duke's J.J. Redick for the lead in the national scoring race. Redick was held to a season-low 11 points earlier Saturday by Temple.
Since 1999, the Zags are 100-11 against conference opponents. They have never lost in the 2-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center.
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