Zags Edge Georgia In OT
Nov 29, 2003
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
SPOKANE, Wash. - Ronny Turiaf played well in regulation. He was great in overtime.
Turiaf scored all 11 of Gonzaga's points and made several key defensive stops to lead the 16th-ranked Bulldogs past Georgia 82-76 on Saturday.
Turiaf, who led Gonzaga with 22 points, had a big block in overtime and grabbed the game's final rebound as the Bulldogs avenged last season's 12-point loss to Georgia.
"Ronny always comes up huge when we need him," Gonzaga forward Cory Violette said.
Turiaf, who has been slowed by a foot injury this season, finished with nine rebounds and three blocks despite picking up his fourth foul with 8:45 left in regulation.
"Confidence-wise, it is huge," Turiaf said.
Rashad Wright's basket for Georgia (2-1) tied the score at 71-all at the end of regulation.
Turiaf then hit three of four free throws to open the overtime to give Gonzaga (3-1) a 74-71 lead. Georgia's Jonas Hayes, who had 20 points, sank a pair from the line to make it 74-73.
Turiaf made it 76-73 with a turnaround jumper, then blocked Hayes' shot and made a layup on the other end for a 78-73 lead.
Levi Stukes replied with a 3-pointer and Georgia trailed 78-76 with 1:15 left. Each team missed a shot and Gonzaga ran down the clock before Turiaf was fouled with 8 seconds left.
He made both free throws, then rebounded Wright's missed shot on the other end. Turiaf made two final free throws with less than a second left.
"It was great in that he fought back from adversity," Gonzaga Coach Mark Few said of Turiaf, who was limited to six points in the second half. "He likes to lull around, take a few punches, rope-a-dope, then he comes on strong at the end."
Georgia Coach Dennis Felton was impressed with Turiaf and the Gonzaga system.
"He's obviously one of the best post products in the country," Felton said. "I have so much respect and admiration for how they teach the game at Gonzaga."
Wright led Georgia with 21 points and played 44 minutes.
"He's a special player," Felton said. "He's so poised and cold-blooded."
Damien Wilkins added 17 points for Georgia. After shooting 45 percent in the first half, Georgia connected on just 13 of 34 shots in the second half and overtime.
Georgia was called for 25 fouls and Gonzaga for 19.
"There were not enough fouls to go around," Violette said. "It was a rough, rough game."
Last year, Georgia beat Gonzaga 95-83 in Atlanta, Gonzaga's largest margin of defeat all season.
Gonzaga plays just one or two home games a year away from the tiny Martin Centre in the much larger Spokane Arena. That seemed to throw the Bulldogs' shooting off Saturday, as they made just 3-of-20 from 3-point range.
Georgia led 54-52 when Violette scored five consecutive points. Erroll Knight's layup capped a 7-0 run as Gonzaga built a 59-54 lead with 6 minutes left in regulation. But Wright's steal and slam, followed by his 3-pointer, finished a 7-0 Georgia reply for a 63-61 lead.
Violette, who had 11 points, fouled out with the score tied 65-all with 2:13 left, and Hayes made both free throws. Freshman Sean Mallon, who replaced Violette, scored consecutive layups for a 69-67 Gonzaga lead with 1 minute left.
Damien Wilkins' free throws tied the game at 69-all.
Wright fouled Stepp with 11 seconds left and Stepp swished both free throws. But Wright hit a short jumper to tie the score at 71-all and Stepp's half court shot missed as time expired.
Morrison scored six of Gonzaga's final nine points for a 37-33 halftime lead.
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