Gonzaga Bounces No. 14 UW
Dec. 1, 2004
By JOHN K. WILEY
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Gonzaga made an impressive bid Wednesday to return to the Top 25.
The Bulldogs (4-1) bounced back against their cross-state rival after a loss to No. 5 Illinois last Saturday that caused them to drop out of the AP Top 25 poll.
"I'm proud of how we came back from Saturday. That's a sign of competitive souls and competitive hearts. They had me wondering about that Saturday," Few said.
Nate Robinson led Washington (4-1) with 22 points, including four 3-pointers.
The Huskies were without second-leading scorer Brandon Roy, who had surgery Tuesday to repair a torn knee ligament. Roy, averaging 18 points per game, will miss at least four weeks.
His absence allowed Morrison and Sean Mallon, who had 16 points, to score from the paint. Meanwhile, Derek Raivio had a career-high 21 points - including 5-of-6 from 3-point range - with eight assists, four steals and no turnovers.
"You'll be hard-pressed to find a guard with no turnovers against that pressure," Few said.
That was a far cry from what Few said to him after a poor performance against Illinois.
"He said I wasn't playing tough, and I wasn't," Raivio said. "So I said, 'I've got nothing to lose, so come out and play tough.' That's what I did."
Morrison wasn't surprised by the Bulldogs' resilience after last week's loss.
"I knew we could play like that," he said. "Illinois helped us a lot. Just looking in the mirror and saying, 'We can't win just because we're wearing a Zags uniform."'
Gonzaga led from the opening tip, building a 29-19 lead before Robinson tied it at 33 on two technical foul shots with 4:21 remaining in the first half. Gonzaga pulled ahead for a 39-38 halftime lead.
The game was tied four times in the second half before Gonzaga pulled away. Three-pointers by Raivio and Morrison helped Gonzaga build a 92-82 lead with 2:25 to play.
Jamaal Williams had 18 points for Washington and Will Conroy added 14, while Mike Jensen scored 13 and Bobby Jones 12.
Gonzaga avoided losing two in a row for the first time since falling to Stanford and St. John's in December 2002.
"They obviously hurt us inside and we were hurt early in transition," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We didn't defend the way they did."
Romar acknowledged the Huskies missed Roy.
"If we defend, we've got a chance to win without him," Romar said. "I'm not going to whine about it. We had a chance to beat them and we didn't get it done."
Gonzaga's next action will be Saturday in Washington's backyard for the "Battle in Seattle" at KeyArena as the Bulldogs face Massachusetts in the second showcase event. Last year Gonzaga downed No. 3 Missouri 87-80 in overtime in the inaugural event. Tipoff Saturday is 1 p.m.
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