No. 22 Gonzaga Wins 87-77 Over Texas in Hall of Fame Challenge
Dec. 2, 2006
PHOENIX (AP) - Gonzaga gave youthful Texas a lesson Saturday about the value of experience.
Derek Raivio made seven 3-pointers en route to 27 points, and the No. 22 Bulldogs beat the Longhorns 87-77 in the opening game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge.
No. 16 Arizona played Illinois in the second game of the doubleheader at US Airways Center.
Raivio, 7-of-14 on 3s, fell two short of the school record of nine set twice by Dan Dickau.
"We weren't aware of where he was sometimes," Texas freshman Kevin Durant said. "Especially in transition, he was getting wide open shots because we didn't see him. They just made an extra pass and he was wide open."
Raivio said this Gonzaga team is more balanced than last year's version that featured Adam Morrison.
"We're moving the ball a lot better, we're just having fun," Raivio said. "When we've got three or four guards out there playing together, it's a lot of fun. No one's really dominating the ball too much. We share it, and we have fun."
Durant matched his season high with 29 points on 8-for-18 shooting and 10-for-10 from the foul line. He also had nine rebounds. Another freshman, Justin Mason, had 17 points for the Longhorns (5-2), who shot 41 percent, 32 percent in the first half.
A.J. Abrams was just 3-for-17 shooting for Texas, 1-for-11 on 3-pointers.
"I had to work harder than I have any other game just to get open," said Abrams, himself just a sophomore. "It's disappointing we had a couple of days to prepare for them and we didn't come out there and show what we can do."
The Bulldogs led 87-59 before the Longhorns, who start four freshmen and a sophomore, scored the last 18 points of the game.
"I thought for stretches of that game, both in the first half and the second half, we played some of the best basketball we've played this year," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.
Texas used a 12-4 run to cut the lead to 55-51 on a pair of free throws by Durant with 14:04 to go. But Gonzaga scored the next 12 to go up 67-51 after Pargo's three-point play on a fastbreak layup with 11:38 remaining.
The run reached 24-4 on Heytvelt's tip-in and the Zags led 79-55 with 8:01 to go.
"I really think they're going to be good," Few said of the Longhorns, "but right now, we talked about trying to exploit their youth."
Texas had two turnovers and a lane violation on a one-and-one free-throw opportunity during early stages of the Bulldogs' surge.
"We haven't learned to listen and communicate," Longhorns coach Rick Barnes said. "We don't understand yet the fine line between winning and losing, and it goes back to listening and communicating."
The Zags outscored Texas 17-6 over the final 5 minutes of the first half to take a 43-33 lead at the break. Raivio scored eight, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Pargo four during the run.
The Longhorns were 11-for-34 shooting in the first 20 minutes.
Still, Texas led 27-26 after Durant sank two free throws to cap a 6-0 spurt with 6:44 left in the half. Heytvelt made a layup on a pass from Pargo to put Gonzaga back on top 28-27, then Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes sank a 3-pointer.
The Bulldogs finished the half with a 9-2 spurt. Raivio sank a 3-pointer with 1:23 left and Gonzaga led 43-33 at halftime.
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