Bulldogs Win Dog Fight 97-77
Dec. 10, 2006
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -Derek Raivio scored 17 of his 25 points in the decisive first half as No. 18 Gonzaga raced to a big early lead and beat No. 13 Washington 97-77 on Saturday night, extending the nation's longest home winning streak to 45 games.
Freshman Matt Bouldin, making his first collegiate start, scored a season-high 21 points for Gonzaga (9-2), which rebounded from a stunning loss Tuesday at Washington State to beat its archrivals for the eighth time in nine meetings.
Spencer Hawes scored 20 points to lead Washington (7-1), the highest ranked team to play in the three-year history of the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga has never lost in 33 games in the raucous new arena. The Zags' last home loss was on Feb. 19, 2003, to Portland at the old on-campus Martin Centre next door to the new "Kennel."
The elusive Raivio scored 17 points in a hyper-speed first half, behind 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range. The young Huskies trailed by only 56-43 at halftime of their first road game of the season after the Zags led by 20 during their highest-scoring and most inspired half of the season.
The game was the last in the annual series the instate rivals have played for the last decade. Washington is choosing not to renew the contract because it says it has no room on its more national schedule next season.
Gonzaga raced to a 17-9 lead in the game's first 4 1/2 minutes. The Bulldogs made seven of their first 10 shots - including two 3s by Raivio.
The Zags then kept the pressure on. When Washington, which never led in the game, went to a zone defense because Raivio was continually beating Ryan Appleby and others off the dribble, Raivio simply shot over the Huskies. His third 3 in four attempts gave Gonzaga a 36-20 lead 12 minutes in.
Raivio followed that with a steal and a layup through two Huskies to put Gonzaga up 38-20. His steal of a loose ball and breakaway lay in while getting fouled gave the Zags their biggest lead until the game's final minute, 49-29.
Hawes missed five of his first seven shots - one wildly off the glass from the post - and had three early turnovers in his matchup with Josh Heytvelt. But the hyped Washington prep player of the year last season scored the Huskies' final six points of the opening half to weather Gonzaga's initial onslaught and keep Washington within 56-43 at halftime.
Gonzaga shot 55 percent - including 6-for-11 from bonus range - while netting its season-high for points in an opening period.
Gonzaga was just 3-for-10 to begin the second half, but still led by 16. The closest the Huskies got was 71-60, on a 3-pointer by freshman Phil Nelson with 11:31 left.
But Gonzaga went back up big again, 89-71, with 4:42 remaining. Pierre Marie Altitor-Cespedes made a 3-pointer and then converted a steal into a dunk that sent the frenzied, soldout crowd into a building-shaking roar.
From there, the crowd reveled in chants of "Overrated" to the beaten Huskies.
Hawes' support came from Jon Brockman's 13 points and 12 rebounds and Quincy Pondexter's 13 points. But Justin Dentmon, one of only two Washington starters to have played Gonzaga before, missed his first 10 shots. The sophomore point guard, who led the Huskies past Gonzaga last December in Seattle when scored 11 of his team's final 17 points, had just seven Saturday - on 2-for-14 shooting.
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