Game 4-St. Louis Region
No. 2 Gonzaga (27-2, 14-0 WCC) vs. No. 15 Valparaiso (18-12, 11-5 Mid-Continent)
FINAL SCORE: Gonzaga 76, Valparaiso 49
HALFTIME SCORE: Gonzaga 36, Valparaiso 25
The Bulldogs advanced beyond the first round for the fifth in the last six years...lost to Wyoming in first round of 2002 NCAA Tournament.
Bulldogs improved to 5-0 in KeyArena...defeated Minnesota (75-63) and Stanford (82-74) in 1999 NCAA Tournament...defeated Washington (76-66), Dec. 13, 1999...defeated Missouri (87-80, OT), Dec. 13, 2003.
Gonzaga has won 17 straight wins in state of Washington, including 16-0 this season...defeated Tulsa (69-60) at home in Martin Centre (The Kennel) in 2002-03 Bracket Buster game...this season, defeated Georgia (82-76, OT) and Eastern Washington (70-49) at Spokane Arena...won at Washington (86-62)...defeated Missouri (87-80, OT) at KeyArena...11-0 at home.
The Bulldogs scored 46 points in the paint while holding Valparaiso to 49 total points in the game...Gonzaga scored 22 points inside in the first half, including 20 on dunks, tip-ins and layups.
Gonzaga improved to 22-1 when leading at half...exception in season-opening loss to St. Joseph's (led 38-34, lost 73-66).
Blake Stepp recorded nine assists to raise his career total to 202 and pass John Stockton for second place on Gonzaga's all-time list...Stepp added 13 points to move past Jeff Brown for fourth place on the Bulldogs' all-time scoring list with 1,657.
Cory Violette registered his eight double-double of the season and 28th of his career with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Only two losses this season are to Stanford and St. Joseph's, the last two teams to fall from the unbeaten ranks...both teams won today to the second round.
The Crusaders began the game 4-for-7 (57.1 percent) from the field and led 10-3...finished the first half 5-for-20 (25.0 percent) and trailed 36-25...went without a field goal for 7:23 in the first half (9:58 to 2:35)...Valparaiso shot a season low 28.6 percent (18-for-63).
Valparaiso attempted a season-low 11 free throws.
The Crusaders were held to 49 points, well below their season average of 72.3...the 49 points tied Valparaiso's season low (68-49 vs. Cincinnati, Dec. 2).
Valparaiso led the Mid-Continent Conference in field goal percentage defense at 41.6 percent, but gave up 53.7 percent (29-for-54) to Gonzaga.