Gonzaga Gets Final Exhibition Tune-up
Nov. 4, 2006
SPOKANE, Wash. - Senior Sean Mallon and sophomore Josh Heytvelt each scored 20 points Saturday to lead Gonzaga University to a 97-52 non-conference men's basketball exhibition victory over Warner Pacific at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
The game was the final tune-up for the Bulldogs prior to opening the regular season Friday at 5 p.m. at home against Eastern Washington University. Gonzaga won its first exhibition game Wednesday 89-53 over Augustana College.
The game was delayed for 22 minutes when Warner Pacific didn't arrive at the McCarthey Athletic Center until 6:45 p.m. for the scheduled 7 p.m. tip-off after experiencing travel problems that began Saturday morning in Sacramento, Calif. The Knights played at Sacramento State University on Friday and were expected to fly to Spokane on Saturday morning. The Knights finally got to Seattle but their flight from Seattle was diverted back to Seattle when the landing gear wouldn't retract after takeoff. Warner Pacific didn't arrive in Spokane until 6:15 p.m.
Despite the travel woes the visitors from Portland, Ore., hung with the Bulldogs for most of the first half. The Bulldogs went on a 12-4 run to take an 18-10 lead with 11:46 to go in the opening half. Mallon had half of Gonzaga's points in that spurt. But the Knights came back to cut the lead to 20-17 at the 9:00 mark. The Bulldogs pushed the lead back to nine points at 29-20 with 4:57 to go in the half, then went on a 12-4 run over the final 3:28 of the half to open a 43-29 lead.
The second half was all Gonzaga as the lead went to 20 in the first 3:30 of the second half and the Knights never got closer than 15 points.
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few wasn't pleased with the first-half effort of his team.
"I thought we came out poorly tonight. We had no real fire, no real energy. It's one thing we can't play like this year. We have got to bring it every night and have high energy and high effort. We need to be very solid with our execution; we can't afford to play sloppy," Few said.
The Bulldogs had 18 turnovers for the game 13 of them in the second half. Warner Pacific had 21 points off Bulldog turnovers.
Gonzaga shot 58.6 percent from the floor, going 34-for-58 from the field. The Bulldogs shot 65.5 percent in the second half (19-for-29).
Few liked what he saw of his team in the second half.
"I think they came out in the second half and played with more fire," Few said.
Mallon and Heytvelt had big games for the Bulldogs. Mallon went 7-for-9 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line while also grabbing six rebounds, dishing out a pair of assists and grabbing two steals. Heytvelt was equally as efficient, going 6-for-8 from the field with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Freshman Matt Bouldin got the start at one guard on Saturday, scoring 9 points, grabbing 8 rebounds and hading out 5 assists. He did, however, have 4 turnovers.
Few said he likes what he sees out of Bouldin and fellow 7-4 freshman Will Foster, who came off the bench to go 3-for-4 from the field with a pair of thunder dunks - one on an alley-oop pass from Bouldin.
"I like what I see out of the freshmen at times and I have high expectations of the one (Bouldin). I am kind of mixed right now on his performances. He's going to be fine," Few said of the Highlands Ranch, Colo., native.
Foster is also starting to catch Few's eye, and the possibility of redshirting is still up in the air.
"The kid has got a chance if he keeps developing and falls in love with the game. He's probably at the point right now that if the team doesn't continue to keep doing a lot, we might have to play him," Few said of the White River High product out of Buckley, Wash.
Under NCAA rules adopted last season, players can play in exhibition contests and still preserve their redshirt season.
The Knights had three players in double figures. Scott O'Gallagher scored 15 points, Josh Jackson 12 and Jeremy Reedal 11. But a dismal 26.9 percent night from the field hampered the Knights, including a 6-for-33 effort (18.2 percent) from 3-point range. Gonzaga also held a 50-28 rebounding edge.
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