Bulldogs Fall In Great Alaska Shootout Title Game
Nov. 24, 2001
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Dwayne Wade scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half and the 6-4 sophomore guard was named the MVP of the Great Alaska Shootout after leading his Marquette Golden Eagles to a 72-63 win over Gonzaga University in the championship game Saturday night.
Wade rallied the Golden Eagles (5-0) after a slow start that saw Gonzaga take a 9-2 lead just five minutes into the contest. But his two quick baskets on a tip-in and a 3-pointer righted Marquette and the Golden Eagles battled back from the early seven-point deficit for the victory.
Gonzaga (2-2) lost its first game ever in six outings in the state of Alaska. The Bulldogs captured the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks in 1997, defeating Tulsa University, Mississippi State University and 5th-ranked Clemson University in the title game. The Bulldogs opened the Great Alaska Shootout with a Thanksgiving Day win over St. John's University, then toppled 24th-ranked University of Texas Friday night in the semifinals.
Gonzaga, after getting outscored 13-2 in the final 4:36 of the first half to trail 37-31 at the break, came out smoking in the second half. Dan Dickau, joining teammate Zach Gourde on the All-Tournament team, hit a 10-foot jumper, Anthony Reason made a pair of free throws and Cory Violette got a basket to slice the Marquette lead to 39-37 just 1:30 into the second half.
But Oluoma Nnamaka got back-to-back basket for the Golden Eagles, the second on a fast break lay-in, and the Bulldogs found themselves down 41-37. Gonzaga cut the deficit to 45-43 when Ronny Turiaf muscled for a basket, was fouled and completed the 3-point play 13:02 from the finish. But the Golden Eagles went on an 11-2 spurt to open a 56-45 lead with 9:54 to go. Nnamaka's lay-in started things, Cordell Henry converted a 3-point play and David Diggs, who had 15 points coming on five treys, hit a deep three to cap the run.
The Bulldogs went 2:30 without a point after cutting the deficit to 58-51 on a pair of Blake Stepp free throws with 8:00 remaining. The Golden Eagles took advantage to open the lead back to 10 points 61-51, and the Bulldogs never threatened again. Gonzaga got an Alex Hernandez rebound and a Dickau 3-pointer in the final minute to cut a 14-point Marquette lead to the final 72-63 margin.
The first half saw Gonzaga race to a quick 9-2 lead in less than five minutes. Gourde, with 12 first-half points, got a fast break basket off a Stepp pass, and Gourde came back with a jumper from the free throw line off a Marquette turnover. Stepp's lay-in off a down-the-lane pass from Turiaf capped the 7-0 run.
But the Golden Eagles regrouped and eventually tied the contest at 15-15. With Gonzaga leading 11-4, Wade scored his first of 10 first-half points with a tip-in, then came back 21 seconds later with a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to pull Marquette to within 11-9 with 13:26 to go in the half. Turiaf came back with a lay-in, Marquette's Travis Diener buried his first of three 3-pointers in the opening half and Turiaf hit a pair of free throws for a 15-12 Gonzaga lead at 11:51. Diggs hit the first of his two 3-pointers in the opening half from the left top of the arc to knot the game at 15.
A Hernandez basket off a pinpoint pass from Violette gave the Bulldogs the lead back, but Marquette got a turnaround jumper from Scott Merritt for the 17-17 deadlock midway through the half.
The game was tied twice more, at 22 and at 24, Marquette pulling even both times. Wade's fast break slam dunk tied the game at 24 a little more than five minutes from intermission, but the Bulldogs got a lay-in from Gourde and a 3-pointer from Anthony Reason for a 29-24 lead with 4:49 to go.
Marquette began a 14-2 run to end the half when Diener hit back-to-back 3-pointers, both from the right side, to give the Golden Eagles their first lead at 30-29 with 3:43 to go in the half. Another Diggs trey pushed the lead to 33-29.
Gourde came back for a jump hook to pull the Bulldogs within two at 33-31, but Wade blocked Reason then went coast-to-coast for a slam dunk for a 35-31 Marquette lead. Merritt ended the first half scoring with a fast break lay-in off a Gonzaga turnover for the 38-31 halftime advantage.
Gourde and Violette were held to seven points in the second half, three of them from the free throw line, after combining for 18 first-half points. Turiaf had nine of his 13 points in the second 20 minutes.
Gonzaga returns home Thursday to face the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the first of three straight home contests for the Bulldogs.
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