Morrison Scores 29 In Exhibition Win
Nov. 1, 2003
SPOKANE, Wash. - Freshman Adam Morrison of Spokane's Mead High scored a game-high 29 points as Gonzaga University defeated Emporia State University 108-71 in an exhibition basketball game Saturday night at The Kennel.
Morrison was one of five Bulldogs in double figures in a game that saw three regulars sit out due to injuries. Ronny Turiaf (foot stress fracture), Erroll Knight (knee) and Tony Skinner (knee) sat this one out and turned it over to some of the younger players.
Sean Mallon, a redshirt freshman from Spokane's Ferris High, scored 19 points, veteran center Cory Violette had 18, freshman point guard Derek Raivio contributed 13 points and 2003 West Coast Conference Player of the Year Blake Stepp chipped in with 10 and a game-high 6 assists.
Raivio, another freshman who came to the Bulldogs out of Vancouver's Mountain View High, had a team-high 31 minutes played as some of the newcomers got plenty of action.
The Hornets, out of the NCAA Division II Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, hung with the Bulldogs for nearly 15 minutes of the opening half. Gonzaga led just 32-27 with 5:22 remaining in the half, but the Bulldogs went on a 14-3 run the rest of the way and opened a 46-30 halftime lead.
The more physical Bulldogs continued to pound away in the second half, opening as much as a 40-point lead at 90-50 with 8:27 remaining.
All 10 players physically able to play got into the game, including sophomore walk-on guard Stephen Gentry who scored 7 points, including draining a 3-pointer to the delight of the Bulldog bench and the sold out crowd of 4,000.
"Emporia State came into this game very organized," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "They played hard as a team and spread out the floor. That was a challenge for us to defend and I think that type of offense was good for our players to see. Our defense was really focused tonight and we have worked to improve on spread offenses."
As for Morrison, the fifth-year Bulldog head coach was delighted with the freshman's debut, albeit in an exhibition contest.
"For people who have not seen Adam, they can now see he is a great player. Tonight was a standard performance for him. Scoring comes easy for Adam. What we have been working on, and what he has been getting better at, is developing his entire game."
Morrison had 9 rebounds to go with his 29 points.
Violette led the Gonzaga assault on the boards with 14 while Mallon had 10 to help the Bulldogs to a 56-31 advantage on the glass.
Greg Patton paced the visitors with 15 points and Aaron Shaw had 13.
Gonzaga shot 50.7 percent from the field on 36-of-71, while ESU hit 34.8 percent on 24-of-69.
The Bulldogs will play their final exhibition contest next Saturday at 6 p.m. in The Kennel against Northwest Sports. It will be the final tune-up prior to the start of the regular season Nov. 14 against Saint Joseph's University in Madison Square Garden.
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