Raivio Dishes Out 13 Assists In Win

Nov. 21, 2004

Box Score

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
Associated Press Writer

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Gonzaga's Derek Raivio is not making people forget Blake Stepp. At least not yet.

In his second game as a starter, Raivio dished out 13 assists and had seven steals to lead No. 25 Gonzaga to a 78-62 victory over Montana on Sunday.

Gonzaga's big front line provided most of the offense, with Sean Mallon scoring 21 points, Ronny Turiaf 20 and Adam Morrison 19.

"That's my little rabbit," Turiaf said of Raivio, who fed him plenty of passes inside. "He knows I'm in there for him."

Raivio got little playing time behind Stepp last year. But with the Bulldogs thin at guard because of injuries, he saw 39 minutes of action on Sunday. The 13 assists marked the sixth time in Gonzaga's NCAA Division I history that a player had hit the lucky number - Stepp once, John Stockton twice, Matt Santangelo and Ken Tyler the others. Stepp holds the single-game school mark with 16 against Long Beach State University on Dec. 20, 2002.

After giving up 80 points on better than 60 percent shooting to Portland State in the season opener, Gonzaga (2-0) played much better defense against Montana. They held the Grizzlies (0-1) to 39 percent on field goals, and forced them into 19 turnovers.

"It's great to be able to turn around in 24 hours and make a correction," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.

Gonzaga held Montana scoreless for the first seven minutes and 20 points in the opening half.

Turiaf, who also grabbed eight rebounds, said the Zags were more aggressive on defense than they were in their opener.


 

 

"It's a mental effort to play good D for 40 minutes," Turiaf said. "We showed that this team is going to get better night after night."

Mallon and Morrison, former high school rivals in Spokane, provided plenty of scoring punch early. Mallon made 8 of 11 field goals and added seven rebounds.

"I wish they grew up in Missoula instead of Spokane," new Montana coach Larry Krystkowiak said.

The Grizzlies, playing their first game under Krystkowiak, lost their eighth straight to Gonzaga. Montana played without second leading scorer Kevin Criswell, who didn't play because of an ankle injury.

Montana's Kamarr Davis scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Virgil Matthews and Matt Martin added 10 points each.

Gonzaga shot better than 60 percent and scored 98 points in its opening win over Portland State. But the Bulldogs couldn't get going against Montana, shooting 46 percent and making just 3 of 15 3-pointers.

Still, the game was never close as Gonzaga took a 9-0 lead and held Montana scoreless for the first seven minutes. The Grizzlies never got closer than five points, but managed to hang around until midway through the second half.

Gonzaga led 38-30 when Mallon and David Pendergraft hit 3-pointers, sandwiched around Turiaf's jumper, for a 46-32 lead with 13:33 left.

Both teams missed their first five field-goal attempts of the game. Mallon's short jumper for Gonzaga with 15:24 left in the opening half was the first basket.

Montana missed its first eight field goals and first two free throws and didn't score until Matt Dlouhy's jumper with 12:51 left in the first half, which left the Grizzlies trailing 9-2.

Both teams continued to shoot poorly the rest of the first half. Gonzaga shot only 41 percent from the floor and missed all six 3-point attempts.

Montana was even worse, sinking just 8 of 27 shots for 29 percent in the first.

Gonzaga will complete its 3-game season-opening homestand Wednesday when the University of Idaho visits for an 8 p.m. contest. The Bulldogs will leave the McCarthey Athletic Center for the first time this season when they face fifth-ranked University of Illinois next Saturday in the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis, Ind.

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