Bulldogs Blast Golden Lions, 92-42

Nov 30, 2001

Gonzaga University's men's basketball, returning home to The Kennel for the first time in 13 days, responded with a 92-42 rout over the University of Arkansas-Little Rock Thursday night in a non-conference game.

The Bulldogs (4-2) left little doubt about the outcome of this one from the moment Cory Violette drilled a 3-pointer for the first points of the game at 18:51. The Bulldogs opened a double-digit lead by the time seven minutes had elapsed and grew to as many as 23 before the Bulldogs settled for a 46-27 halftime lead.

Gonzaga was playing without the services of sophomore guard Blake Stepp, who sprained an ankle in Wednesday's practice and saw a streak of 38 straight starts over two seasons come to a halt. But sophomore Kyle Bankhead, making just his fourth career start, paced the Bulldogs in the first half.

Bankhead connected on 4-of-7 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, for 12 points in the opening 20 minutes to pace all scorers. He equaled his career high with 15 points, playing just seven minutes in the second half as Gonzaga head coach Mark Few had the luxury of clearing his bench early and often for the first time in the first six outings.

Senior point guard Dan Dickau, who had made 11 of his last 27 field goals and 6 of his last 16 3-pointers coming into Thursday's game, went 6-of-13 from the field with all six field goals from beyond the 3-point arc on his way to a game-high 18 points. He went 6-of-10 from 3-point range. After going 1-for-4 in the opening half for 3 points, Dickau heated up in the second half by going 5-of-9 from the field, including 5-of-7 from long range.

The Bulldogs also got an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double from sophomore Cory Violette, his first career double-double, and 10 points from Anthony Reason, matching his career high set twice last season.

Freshman Ronny Turiaf again came off the bench to provide a spark for the Bulldogs, scoring 11 points and grabbing five rebounds with his mother sitting in the stands after arriving from Le Robert, Martinique.

Few also got plenty of minutes from reserves Jay Sherrell, Germayne Forbes and Brian Michaelson, the latter making his debut in a Gonzaga uniform. Sherrell scored a career-high 8 points and fell within one of his career rebounding high with six boards.

The Golden Lions, winless in their fifth of 13 straight road games to open the season, were paced by the 11 points of Don Fleming, the lone UAPB player in double figures.

Gonzaga held a 53-29 rebounding edge, and after a 51.6 percent first half from the field ended the game by hitting on 48.4 percent from the field. The Bulldogs, who had increased their season free throw percentage to 72.6 with a strong showing in Alaska, made just 17-of-32 for 53.1 percent. But Thursday the game wasn't won or lost at the free throw line.

The Golden Lions shot just 27.0 percent from the field, connecting on 17-of-63 shots, including 2-of-14 from 3-point range for 14.3 percent. UAPB went the final 10:41 without a field goal and was outscored 22-5.

The 50-point margin of victory was the fourth time in the last two seasons the Bulldogs have won a game by at least half a century, and was the eighth such win in Gonzaga's NCAA Division I history.

Gonzaga will play the middle game of a three-game homestand Saturday when Portland State University visits for a 7 p.m. contest. Eastern Washington University will make the short trek from Cheney next Tuesday for another 7 p.m. game.

Saturday's game against PSU is a sellout.



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