Bulldogs Step Up Against USD, Win 76-68
March 4, 2001
SAN DIEGO -
By BERNIE WILSON
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are one win away from familiar territory - the NCAA tournament.
The Bulldogs shocked host San Diego by scoring the final 16 points of the first half to erase a 14-point deficit and beat the Toreros 76-68 in a West Coast Conference tournament semifinal Sunday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Dan Dickau scored 24 points and Casey Calvary 17 for top-seeded Gonzaga (23-6), which will play No. 3 seed Santa Clara on Monday night for the tourney title and the WCC's automatic NCAA berth. Santa Clara beat second-seeded Pepperdine 84-78 in the other semifinal. SCU upset second-seed Pepperdine University 84-78 in Sunday's first semifinal.
The Bulldogs, who won five NCAA tournament games the last two years, reached the WCC championship game for the fourth straight year and the sixth time in seven years. They've won 17 of 18 games overall.
The Bulldogs' 16-0 run didn't put away the Toreros (16-13) for good, but it quieted the wild home crowd and gave Gonzaga a 34-32 halftime lead.
San Diego's last score of the first half came with 4:16 to go when Mark Spink was called for goaltending on a shot by Tyler Field, putting the Toreros ahead 32-18.
Casey Calvary started Gonzaga on its streak with a baseline jumper with 4:01 to go.
Inexplicably, San Diego coach Brad Holland didn't call a timeout to try to stop the Zags' momentum.
Dickau scored six points in the run, including the final four. Just like he did in beating the Toreros with a 3-pointer eight days earlier, he ran down the clock before dribbling into the key to make an off-balance 10-footer with one second left.
USD came up with a 13-2 run in the second half to erase a seven-point
deficit and lead 53-49 with 9:16 to go following consecutive 3-pointers by Sam
Adamo and Andre Laws.
But the Toreros went cold again, making just one field goal in an eight-minute span as Gonzaga went on a 19-6 run, capped by Calvary's thundering dunk for a 68-59 lead with 1:20 left.
Adamo kept it interesting by hitting three straight 3-pointers, but Gonzaga made 8 of 10 free throws in the final minute.
Andre Laws scored 11 points in just more than three minutes to help the Toreros to their firt 14-point lead, 25-11 with 7:25 before halftime. He made two free throws after being fouled intentionally by Calvary and later converted a three-point play.
Alex Hernandez scored 15 and Spink 10 for Gonzaga. Adamo led San Diego with 19, followed by Laws with 14 and Nick Greene 12.
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