Gonzaga Holds Off Washington in Overtime
Dec 2, 2002
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Junior guard Blake Stepp scored a career-high 33 points Monday night to lead Gonzaga to a 95-89 overtime victory over Washington in front of a sellout crowd of 4,000 in The Kennel.
The victory was the 28th straight home victory for the Bulldogs, the third best current streak in the country behind Brigham Young's 37 and Tennessee Tech's 32.
The Bulldogs (3-2), who dropped out of the Top 25 this week, trailed for much of the game, including by as many as seven points in both halves. Trailing 55-50 with 13:35 to go in the contest the Bulldogs came back to draw even at 62-62 with 9:13 remaining, the fifth of seven second-half ties.
Gonzaga pulled away to a 71-66 advantage with 5:14 to play, it's biggest lead since 25-19, and still held the five-point margin at 79-74 with just 44 ticks left in regulation. But the Huskies, who have now dropped four straight to Gonzaga in Spokane, put the ball in Will Controy's hands. They got a jumper from Conroy with :35 remaining. Ronny Turiaf hit 1-of-2 free throws, Doug Wren grabbed the rebound and Conroy made two more free throws after being fouled by Turiaf. Stepp made 1-of-2 from the line to give the Bulldogs a 3-point lead, and Bobby Jones grabbed the rebound following Stepp's miss on the back end of the free throws. Conroy sent the game into overtime with his trey from the left wing.
Conroy, a sophomore, led Washington (0-3) with a career-high 32 points.
Stepp went 8-for-8 at the free-throw line to account for all of Gonzaga's points in the final two minutes of overtime. A lay-up by Anthony Washington gave Washington its third and final overtime lead with three minutes to go.
Turiaf had 18 points for Gonzaga. Teammate Cory Violette collected 17
points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Stepp finished 8-for-12 from the
field and 16-for-20 at the line.
Gonzaga nursed small leads for most of the first half, but Jeffrey Day's short jumper gave Washington a 36-29 lead with 43 seconds left in the half. Kyle Bankhead's 3-pointer with 24 seconds to go narrowed Washington's lead to 36-32 at halftime.
The young Huskies, playing aggressive man-to-man defense, outshot the Bulldogs in the first half from the field and at the free-throw line. However, Gonzaga shot 66 percent from the field after halftime and sank 9 of 10 free throws in overtime.
The game was tied 15 times. Washington fell to 0-3 for the first time since a 0-5 start in 1993-94.
Gonzaga will continue the tough week with a pair of road games Thursday at Montana and Saturday at Washington State.
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