Bulldogs Stepp Up For Another Comeback Over EWU

Dec 22, 2002

Box Score

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Blake Stepp hit a 3-point basket with less than 30 seconds to play, giving Gonzaga its first lead and a 67-64 victory over Eastern Washington on Sunday at the Spokane Arena.

Eastern Washington led virtually the entire game.

The Eagles, who blew a 16-point halftime lead in an 84-74 loss at Gonzaga last season, led 37-26 at the half Sunday and twice led by 17 in the second half before losing to Gonzaga for the 17th straight time.

Ronny Turiaf led the Bulldogs (8-3) with 19 points and tied teammate Cory Violette with a game-high 11 rebounds. Alvin Snow scored 18 of his 22 points for Eastern Washington (7-3) in the first half. Chris Hester added 19.

The game drew a sellout crowd of 11,000. That almost doubled Eastern's previous home attendance record of 5,621, set in 1990 against Idaho. The Eagles' on-campus arena holds 5,000. Most of the crowd favored Gonzaga, which routinely sells out its 4,000-seat arena.

Snow sank four of six 3-point shots in the first half to spur the Eagles. The Bulldogs trailed 49-32 with 14 minutes left in the game when they began pounding the ball inside to Turiaf, who scored all of Gonzaga's points in an 8-2 spurt over the next 2 minutes.

Stepp, who has struggled with his shot since averaging 22 points in Gonzaga's first seven games, missed his first five 3-pointers Sunday before hitting two of three treys in the last 4:16. He finished with nine points.

Gonzaga outrebounded Eastern Washington 43-31, outshot the Eagles 47-35 percent from the field (including 54-27 percent in the second half) and held a 40-6 advantage in scoring by non-starters.



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