Few Likes What He Sees In 94-53 Exhibition Victory
Robert Sacre returned to action for the Bulldogs Monday.
 
Robert Sacre returned to action for the Bulldogs Monday.

Nov. 2, 2009

Box Score

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few came away with a pretty good feeling about his team following Monday's 94-53 exhibition rout of the University of Alberta in front of a sold out McCarthey Athletic Center crowd.

The Bulldogs got 17 points from senior guard Matt Bouldin, 15 from freshman forward Sam Dower and 11 from post Robert Sacre, seeing his first game action since December of last year.

Alberta was led by Harvey Bradford with 12 points, the lone visitor in double figures. He went 5-for-10 from the field.

Freshman Mangisto Arop, one of four Canadians to dot the Bulldog roster who have ties with Alberta head coach Greg Francis, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and scored 8 points that included a 3-for-5 night from the field.

Bouldin scored 15 of his points in the opening half, played just five minutes in the second half and sat down after going 6-for-9 from the field as Few had a chance to do what exhibition games are all about and clear his bench. Fifteen of the 16 players on the Bulldog roster got into the game, Bol Kong the only one to sit while nursing a sore ankle.

Gonzaga had a dominating night on the boards, holding a 63-29 advantage. The Bulldogs shot 54.1 percent from the field in the first half. Down 22-21 with 11:46 to go in the opening half, the Bulldogs went on a 25-6 tear the rest of the half and built a 46-28 halftime lead.

Few said it took a little while for his team to get going.

"After the first five minutes our defense got going, our rebounding and transition game got running and all of our bodies wore them out," Few said. "Early on they (Alberta) came out shooting the ball well. They had a plan and it's hard to guard when all the guys can shoot the three like that."

The Golden Bears went 5-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half, all five of their treys coming in the first nine minutes in building the 22-21 lead. Alberta finished just 7-for-20 from long range for the game.

Few said the Alberta zone defense threw some unseen wrinkles at his team.

"We haven't played against a whole lot of zone in practice and we saw a lot of zone for the first 30 minutes," Few said.

Overall the 11th-year head coach liked what he saw.

"By and large I think we were happy with the guys effort, especially the first five minutes of the second half was some really good basketball on our part as far as defensive pressure, great rebounding position and we were pretty darn efficient on the offensive end," Few noted.

The Bulldogs hit three of their first four shots in the second half and out-scored the visitors 14-2 to increase the lead to 60-30 with just less than five minutes gone in the half. Gonzaga also forced the ball inside and connected on 8-of-10 free throws in the opening five minutes.

Few said it isn't only the new guys who were being evaluated.

"It's not just the new guys, we're trying to see what they can do, trying to evaluate them a little bit under pressure and adversity, see who is playing well together and see who is understanding some of the concepts we're trying to get through," Few said of the overall approach. "There are a lot of them - we got 15 guys in that game today and I think that's a record, at least for me."

Few said everybody pretty much passed the test.

"It's not easy. Some of them stepped up very, very well. Kelly Olynyk played on a sprained ankle and showed some toughness and battled. I thought the freshmen by and large were impressive with how they handled everything," Few said.

Sacre, who played just five games last year before being sidelined with a foot injury, played 11 minutes Monday, going 4-for-5 from the field while scoring 11 points and grabbing five rebounds.

It was also somewhat of a reunion for the Canadian members of the Bulldogs. Arop and Olynyk played for Canada's National Junior Team coached by Francis in last year's U-19 FIBA World Championships in New Zealand as Canada finished seventh, three members of the Golden Bears also playing on that U-19 team. Sacre and Kong also have ties with Francis and the Junior National Team.

Gonzaga will turn its attention to the regular-season and home opener Nov. 14 against Mississippi Valley State University.

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