Men's Basketball Takes Exhibition Win
Nov. 8, 2002
SPOKANE, Wash. - Playing without the services of three regulars, Gonzaga University's men's basketball team broke away in the second half for a 108-88 exhibition victory over the Northwest All-Stars Friday night at The Kennel.
With starting center Cory Violette (hip) and starting point guard Winston Brooks and key reserve forward Ronny Turiaf both sidelined with shoulder injuries, the All-Stars hung around for the better part of 25 minutes before the Bulldogs sprinted away late and maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way.
Junior transfer Richard Fox, who came to the Bulldogs last season from the University of Colorado and sat out under NCAA transfer rules, more than picked up the slack for the injured Violette. He scored 26 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and had an impressive 10-for-17 night from the field. Newcomer Tony Skinner, a transfer forward from Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., scored 21 points, salty veteran Zach Gourde added 20 and experienced guard Blake Stepp had 13. Kyle Bankhead, who started in place of Brooks, scored 11.
Stepp, who along with Brooks is expected to share the bulk of the point guard duties this season to replace the departed Dan Dickau, dished out 13 assists as the Bulldogs had 33 assists in 41 field goals. Bankhead had 7 assists.
For the visitors, Josh Hall had a team-high 22 points, 14 in the first half as the All-Stars trailed just 54-50 at intermission. Hall hit 8-of-14 shots for the night, including 5-of-6 in the opening 20 minutes. Former University of Washington standout Jamie Booker had 19 points on a 7-for-14 night from the field.
The Bulldogs trailed by as many as three in the first half and lead by as many as six in the closely-contested half. Stepp's 25-footer from straightaway at the halftime buzzer sent Gonzaga to the lockerroom with the 4-point halftime advantage.
Gonzaga built the second-half lead to 12 points at the 14:27 mark of the second half to cap a 12-4 run and up the lead to 69-57. Northwest All-Stars chipped away at the lead, cutting it to 75-68 by the 8:58 mark, but a 7-0 spurt started by a Bankhead trey pushed the margin to 82-68 and the Gonzaga lead never got under double-digits again.
The Bulldogs complete their exhibition season next Friday when the Australia Institute of Sport visits The Kennel for an 8 p.m. contest following the Bulldogs' volleyball game with the University of San Diego.
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