Gonzaga Men's Basketball Stifles EWU
Nov. 26, 1999
SPOKANE, Wash. - Redshirt freshman Zach Gourde came off the bench to score a game-high 24 points, Casey Calvary tied his career high with five blocked shots and Gonzaga University posted an easy 81-47 non-conference men's basketball victory over Eastern Washington University Friday night in The Kennel.
The Bulldogs pushed their record to 2-0 by winning their home opener, while EWU fell to 0-3.
Gourde, who sat out last year while watching the Bulldogs advance to the NCAA Elite Eight, made his presence felt Friday. He connected on 10-of-12 shots from the field and 4-of-5 free throw attempts and also tied Calvary and EWU's Will Levy for game-high rebounding honors with nine. The native of Vancouver, WA., scored 9 first-half points while going 4-for-4 from the field, then put on a dominating display in the second half. He scored 13 of his points in the final 7:24, including 8 straight in one 2:40 stretch when he hit a jumper, back-to-back tipins and then put an exclamation point on the evening with a slam dunk.
The Bulldogs used a cold-shooting night from the Eagles to put this game away early, pushing the lead to double-digits for the final time at 29-19 on a Gourde layin and never looking back. The game was tied just once at 2-2, and the lone EWU lead of the night was 3-2 on Chris White's 3-point play with 18:50 remaining in the opening half. A Dench jumper gave the Bulldogs the lead for good, and the tone was set when Calvary and Spink blocked three consecutive shots by the Eagles in a 30-second span. Calvary denied Levy and Kareem Hunter, then Hunter was stuffed by Spink. Gonzaga blocked 9 shots, two shy of the school record, and Calvary matched his career high set last year against St. Martin's College.
Gonzaga shot a less-than-impressive 48.4 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, but EWU connected on just 6-of-32 first-half field goal attempts for 18.8 percent. Gonzaga finished 27-for-60 from the field for 45.0 percent, 3-of-14 from 3-point range and 24-of-34 from the free throw line. EWU shot a paltry 22.7 percent from the field for the game on 15-of-66.
EWU actually held a 46-45 rebounding edge, but Gonzaga scored 18 points off 13 EWU turnovers and held a 17-10 advantage in second-chance points.
The Bulldogs, ranked 25th by both Associated Press and ESPN/USA TODAY, won't get much time off, meeting Washington State University Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Spokane Arena, then facing Boise State University at home Wednesday. Gonzaga has a date with top-ranked University of Cincinnati next Saturday at the Rock-N-Roll Shootout in Cleveland, OH.
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