Zags Punch Ticket To Big Apple
Nov. 16, 2006
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -Derek Raivio scored 18 points to lead a balanced Gonzaga attack in a 78-69 victory over cold-shooting Baylor in the West Region championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Wednesday in the Spokane Arena.
Baylor (2-1) made just 36 percent of its field goals and starting guard Aaron Bruce was 0-for-12, but the Bears managed to hang in for much of the game.
Henry Dugat led the Bears with 16 points, while Curtis Jerrells had 13 and Kevin Rogers added 12.
Gonzaga will play No. 2 North Carolina in New York on Nov. 22 in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Gonzaga jumped to a 16-5 lead as Baylor, made up primarily of freshmen and sophomores, made just 2 of its first 14 shots.
Gonzaga led 39-27 at halftime after making 14-of-26 field goals and all 10 of its free throws. Baylor made just 9-of-36 for 25 percent in the first half, including 1-of-11 from 3-point range.
A pair of monster dunks by Heytvelt keyed a 9-2 run to open the second half that lifted Gonzaga to a 48-29 lead.
Dugat's 3-pointer capped an 11-2 Baylor run that closed Gonzaga's lead to 50-40 with 12 minutes left.
The Zags rebuilt a 15-point lead, but the Bears finally found the range in the closing minutes, making three 3-pointers to pull within 68-59 with 3:11 left. But they could not get closer.
While the Spokane Arena is a neutral court, Gonzaga has won 47 consecutive games in its home city of Spokane, including 41 straight on its home court and six straight in the arena. The last time they lost in Spokane was at home on Feb. 19, 2003, to Portland.
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