Gonzaga Gets Assist From Stepp In Win
Dec. 20, 2002
SPOKANE, Wash. - Blake Stepp set a Gonzaga University single-game record with 16 assists and the Bulldogs got 17 points each from Cory Violette and Ronny Turiaf in rolling to a 90-55 non-conference men's basketball win over Long Beach State University Friday night in front of a sellout crowd of 4,000 in The Kennel.
Stepp erased the school assists mark of 13 held by Ken Tyler against Montana in 1975 and since matched by John Stockton twice in 1984 and Matt Santangelo in 2000. Stepp now has 304 career assists, moving him into a tie for fifth with Jim McPhee on the Gonzaga charts.
The Bulldogs went on a 7-0 run after trailing 25-24 and were never headed. Tony Skinner, who scored the first six points in the run, was fouled on a 3-point attempt and converted all three throws to give the Bulldogs the lead for good at 27-25 with 6:44 to go in the first half. He followed with a 3-point play as he was fouled on a layup and Gonzaga was up 30-25.
The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 43-32 at the half as Skinner had 11 of his 14 points in the opening 20 minutes and Richard Fox added 10 of his 14. Skinner also hauled in 8 rebounds to share game honors with LBSU's Antoine Jackson.
The second half was all Bulldogs. Leading 49-38 with 16:02 to go, the Bulldogs went on a 10-0 spurt to push the lead to 59-38 as the 49ers went 5:01 without a point. Gonzaga continued to build the lead, the final 35-point margin the Bulldogs' largest lead of the night.
Violette went 4-for-6 from the field and 9-for-9 from the line, while Turiaf went 7-of-10 from the field and 3-for-4 from the stripe as Gonzaga again pounded the ball inside. Gonzaga finished 20-of-24 from the line, the sixth time this season the Bulldogs have made 20 or more free throws in a game.
The Bulldogs shot a torrid 62.3 percent from the field, including 16-of-23 for 69.6 percent in the second half.
As they did against Georgia last Sunday, the Bulldogs failed to make a trey in the first half, going 0-for-6 from behind the arc. But the Bulldogs extended their streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 308 with four in the second half.
Fox, making his fourth straight start, turned in another strong effort. He went 7-for-7 from the field and grabbed 6 rebounds.
Reserve guard Josh Reisman contributed a career-high 12 points on a 5-for-7 night from the field.
Gonzaga won't have much time to rest as the Bulldogs meet Inland Northwest rival Eastern Washington University Sunday at 4:40 p.m. at the sold out Spokane Arena. The game will be televised on KREM-TV Channel 2 in Spokane and KONG-TV Channel 6 in Seattle. The game can also be heard on 1510 KGA radio in Spokane and via this website.
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