Bulldogs Use Tough Defense, Second-Half Spurt To Beat Boise State

Dec. 1, 1999

Box Score

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University used a tenacious second-half defense and a strong shooting performance in the final 20 minutes to pull away from Boise State University and post a 71-55 non-conference basketball victory Wednesday night in The Kennel.

With a near-sellout crowd of 3,871 looking on, the Bulldogs ran their mark to 4-0 with a Saturday date against top-ranked University of Cincinnati looming on the horizon Saturday at the Rock-N-Roll Shootout in Cleveland, OH. The 4-0 start is the best for the Bulldogs since a 5-0 start during the 1996-96 campaign. BSU, in losing to Gonzaga for the third straight year, evened its record at 2-2.

After trailing 29-28 at halftime while shooting 40.0 percent from the field, the Bulldogs came out in the second half and gained the lead for good when Axel Dench scored two of his game-high equaling 15 points on a layin with 18:47 remaining. That started the Bulldogs on their way to a 20-5 run in the first 9:00 of the second half in opening a 48-34 lead. BSU scored just 8 points in the first 11:34 of the second half and had just a Clint Hordemann 3-pointer and a Kejuan Woods layin for their only field goals in that stretch.

Gonzaga, meanwhile, ran its offense to near perfection and Matt Santangelo dished out 7 assists and the Bulldogs committed just 4 second-half turnovers after 8 first-half miscues. BSU, with 6 first-half points off turnovers in the first half, didn't get a point off a Gonzaga turnover in the second half. Gonzaga, meanwhile, had 13 second-half points off 11 BSU turnovers. BSU finished with 21 turnovers which led to 20 Gonzaga points.

The Bulldogs had their best shooting night of the season, finishing 25-for-49 from the field for 51.0 percent, their first time over 50 percent from the field this season. BSU finished 21-of-49 from the field for 42.9 percent for the best night against the Bulldogs this season. Gonzaga opponents are shooting 34.3 percent from the field.



As it had through the first three games, the Bulldogs again had a sub-par game from 3-point range, hitting 4-of-14 for 28.6 percent. Gonzaga hit 39.9 percent of its treys last season.

Dench, who went 5-for-6 from the field mostly from close range, and Santangelo each had 15 points, while Richie Frahm scored 13. Frahm now has 1,080 career points to move into 16th on the all-time Gonzaga list. He surpassed Jon Kinloch who scored 1,071 points from 1993-96 and needs four to edge past Frank Walter who scored 1,083 from 1047-50.

Gonzaga will begin its grueling early-season December schedule Saturday against the top-ranked Bearcats, then face Temple University Wednesday in the Great 8 at the United Center in Chicago, head to UCLA a week from Saturday and conclude the 4-games-in-10-days stretch against the University of Washington in Seattle's KeyArena on Dec. 13.

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