Hot-Shooting Zags Take Care Of WSU
Dec 29, 2003
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Gonzaga had one of the best offensive performances in school history against one of the stingiest defensive teams in the country.
Cory Violette scored a career-high 31 points and 15th-ranked Gonzaga shot 70.8 percent from the field in a 96-58 rout of Washington State on Sunday night.
It was the second-best shooting performance ever by Gonzaga, which shot 71.8 percent against Saint Mary's, Calif., on Jan. 13, 1996.
"That's one of the best games we've had all season in terms of execution," Violette said.
Ronny Turiaf scored 19 and Adam Morrison added 17 points for the Bulldogs (8-2), who were coming off a loss to No. 6 Stanford. The 38-point victory was Gonzaga's largest in the 96-year history of the series.
"We had a lot of possessions where we had the extra pass," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "Instead of a good shot, we got a great shot."
Thomas Kelati led Washington State (6-4) with 15 points, and Marcus Moore added 13.
Only Rice (64 points) had scored more than 55 points against the Cougars before Sunday.
"We looked lost defensively," Washington State coach Dick Bennett said. "Guys mixed up coverages. We worked on defending inside, and guys were forgetting their rotation."
The 6-foot-8, 265-pound Violette and 6-10, 243-pound Turiaf dominated the undersized Cougars inside.
After scoring just 10 points in the previous two games combined, Violette scored 15 in the first half against Washington State. Ten of those points came on dunks.
"Our guys knew he was feeling it, so as assertive as he was, it was easy to find him," Few said. "Cory is a great player. Sometimes he has a tendency to overanalyze things. When he's just blue collar that's when he does well."
Violette finished 11-for-13 from the field. Turiaf went 6-for-8, and Morrison was 8-for-9.
"We would try to trap down low, and then they would throw it outside. We didn't know who to stop," Moore said.
The Cougars shot 30 percent from the field in the first half and 39 percent for the game.
Gonzaga led 24-8 after 11 minutes and 39-24 at the half. Moore, who scored a career-high 42 points in an overtime loss to Gonzaga last year, was held scoreless in the first half. Tony Skinner and Erroll Knight guarded him for most of the half.
"Tony and Erroll did a great job D-ing up," Violette said. "We said, 'Let's finally stop somebody who's supposed to score a lot of points."'
Washington State has lost 40 straight games to Top 25 teams since defeating No. 25 California in 1997. The Cougars have lost five straight to Gonzaga, but still lead the all-time series 95-43.
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