No. 16 Gonzaga Pulls Away From Denver

Nov 25, 2003

Box Score

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
Associated Press Writer

SPOKANE, Wash. - Ronny Turiaf scored 21 points and freshman Adam Morrison posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 16 Gonzaga to a 90-58 victory over Denver on Monday night.

It was the season opener for Denver, which charged to a 21-12 lead but was hurt by foul trouble in the second half.

Gonzaga (2-1) used a 23-6 run midway through the second half to pull away from the Pioneers. They outscored Denver 45-23 in the second half.

Gonzaga again had a balanced attack, with Cory Violette adding 16 points, Blake Stepp 14 and Morrison 12. Gonzaga also had a 42-28 rebounding advantage, led by Morrison's 12.

Erik Benzel, a Spokane native that Gonzaga did not recruit, hit four 3-pointers in the first seven minutes as Denver built a 21-12 lead.

The Bulldogs battled back and Stepp's steal and lay-up tied the score at 28 with 6:35 left in the first.

From there, it was all Gonzaga. With Benzel on the bench with his third foul, Gonzaga closed with a 12-3 run for a 45-35 halftime lead.

Denver shot 52 percent in the first half, going 6-for-11 from 3-point range. But Denver made only seven field goals in the second half.

Gonzaga led 47-41 early in the second when Tony Skinner's 3-pointer initiated the decisive run. Freshmen Morrison (six points) and Sean Mallon (four points) fueled the run as Gonzaga moved out to a 65-45 lead.

With starters Rodney Billups, Zeljko Zupic and Benzel in foul trouble, the Pioneers could not stop Gonzaga's attack, even after Coach Mark Few inserted his substitutes. Zupic and Benzel led Denver with 13 points each.

 

 

The 32-point loss was Denver's worst since an 85-15 drubbing by Colorado State in 2000.

Gonzaga returns to action Saturday in the Spokane Arena against the University of Georgia. The 1 p.m. contest is a sellout.

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