Bulldogs Open New Arena With Win

Nov. 20, 2004

Box Score

Associated Press Writer

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Ronny Turiaf scored a career-high 33 points and No. 25 Gonzaga shot 65 percent to beat Portland State 98-80 on Friday night.

Neither team looked like it was playing its season opener. Both shot more than 60 percent in a frantically paced contest that was tied at halftime and close for the first 30 minutes.

Turiaf scored 19 in the second half - including 12 straight for the Zags - to help Gonzaga pull away and inaugurate the school's $25 million McCarthey Athletic Center with a victory.

Blake Walker led Portland State with 22 points, while Jake Schroeder had 20, including six 3-pointers. Seamus Boxley added 21 points for the Vikings, who shot 61 percent.

Schroeder hit three early 3-pointers to help Portland State build a 31-23 lead before Gonzaga responded.

The Zags scored eight unanswered to tie the game, and Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes scored on consecutive short jumpers to give Gonzaga a 37-35 lead.

The Bulldogs held the lead until the final second of the half, when Portland State point guard Will Funn's buzzer-beater tied the score at 46-all. Funn picked up his second technical arguing that he was fouled and was ejected.

Derek Raivio opened the second half with two free throws for Funn's technical and Gonzaga never trailed again. Nathan Doudney's 3-pointer capped a 10-0 spurt as the Bulldogs built a 58-48 lead.

Schroeder hit a pair of 3-pointers to pull Portland State back within 64-59, then Turiaf responded with 12 straight Gonzaga points to give the Zags an 11-point lead with nine minutes remaining.

Turiaf finished 12-of-18 from the field and had nine rebounds.



Doudney, a transfer from Texas Tech playing his first game for Gonzaga, scored 14, while Sean Mallon had 18 and Adam Morrison 14.

Gonzaga's new 6,000-seat arena replaced the tiny Martin Centre, where the Bulldogs posted a 161-15 record from 1991 through 2004.

Gonzaga's Erroll Knight missed the game with a thumb injury, and junior college transfer J.P. Batista has not yet been cleared to play by the NCAA. That forced the Bulldogs to play highly touted freshman David Pendergraft, who they had hoped to redshirt.

Batista will not play in the first three regular-season games in a ruling handed down Friday by the NCAA, Bulldogs athletic director Mike Roth said.

School officials were notified of the decision late Friday afternoon, just hours prior to Friday's game. Under the ruling, Batista is also scheduled to miss Sunday's contest against the University of Montana and Wednesday's game with the University of Idaho. Batista will be eligible to play against the University of Illinois on Nov. 27 at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis, Ind.

"We are very disappointed in the ruling, but we are glad some closure has come to this situation. We plan to appeal as permitted by NCAA protocol. We realize J.P. will miss the first two games this weekend, but we're hopeful the appeal will be upheld and he could play in Wednesday's game," Roth said.

Batista transferred to Gonzaga from Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kans. He played his freshman season at Western Nebraska Community College.

"While we are not allowed to go into detail, J.P being withheld from games has nothing to do with his grades, academic standing or his recruitment by Gonzaga," Roth said.

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