Gonzaga, New Mexico On ESPN Big Monday
Jan. 3, 2002
Game No. 15 - New Mexico Lobos
Monday, Jan. 7 - 9 p.m. PST
The Pit - Albuquerque, NM
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 8:45 p.m. PST
No. 22 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (12-2, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO (9-3, 0-0 Mountain West Conference)
Friday, Jan. 11 - 7:30 p.m. PST
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 7:15 p.m. PST
TV: FOX Sports Net Northwest
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY (4-8, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
BULLDOGS IN THE PIT: It won't be unfamiliar territory for Gonzaga University when the Bulldogs play their first game of 2002 Monday at The Pit in Albuquerque, NM. The Bulldogs and the University of New Mexico will tip off ESPN's season of "Big Monday" telecasts when the two do battle at 9 p.m. PST this coming Jan. 7. Gonzaga is no stranger to The Pit, although the crowd won't be as pro Gonzaga as it was the last time the Bulldogs visited. Gonzaga met Purdue University in a Sweet Sixteen match-up in the 2000 NCAA Tournament in The Pit, falling to the Boilermakers 75-66. However, senior forward Zach Gourde is the only current Bulldog who played in that game. Kyle Bankhead was a redshirt walk-on, Dan Dickau was a redshirt transfer, Germayne Forbes was sitting out after being declared a non-qualifier by the NCAA and Jay Sherrell was redshirting due to leg pain.
EASTERN SWEEP: The calendar year ended with Gonzaga University getting a sweep of a pair of East Coast teams, topping Monmouth University 79-54 and Saint Joseph's University 83-80. The Bulldogs and Saint Joseph's went down to the buzzer, Dan Dickau scoring the final nine Gonzaga points and hitting a 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds remaining to break an 80-80 deadlock and give Gonzaga the sweep. Dickau scored 25 points and Blake Stepp contributed 15 as the guard duo combined to go 10-of-16 from 3-point range as each connected on 5-of-8 shots from beyond the arc. Gourde complimented the outside game with 16 points, hitting 7-of-13 shots mainly on hook shots from inside the paint. The trip began with the Bulldogs dominating Monmouth. After Gonzaga opened a 21-3 lead in the first nine minutes, the Hawks cut the deficit to 11 but could get no closer. Anthony Reason scored eight of Gonzaga's first 14 points, and the Bulldogs went on a 17-0 run to open the big early lead. Nine straight Bulldog points to open the second half after taking a 42-24 halftime lead erased any hopes of a Monmouth comeback.
BULLDOGS 22ND: Gonzaga University remained 22nd in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25 polls for the second straight week. It's the fourth straight week for the Bulldogs in the AP rankings, cracking the list Dec. 12 at No. 25. Gonzaga is in the USA TODAY/ESPN poll for the third straight week, entering the poll 24th on Dec. 16. The Bulldogs current ranking equals their highest regular-season ranking ever in either major poll. However, the Bulldogs have enjoyed loftier rankings, being ranked 12th in the final USA TODAY/ESPN poll of the 1999 season, Gonzaga's best ranking in school history, and 20th in last year's final USA TODAY/ESPN poll.
DICKAU GAME WINNERS: Senior guard Dan Dickau's game-winning shot against Saint Joseph's University on New Year's Eve is nothing new. Last season at the University of San Diego he drained a 3-pointer from 23 feet straightaway with 2.8 seconds to play to give Gonzaga a 72-69 victory in the regular-season finale.
REASON DOUBLES UP: Senior forward Anthony Reason recorded the first double-double of his Bulldog career when he scored 10 points to equal a career high and grabbed 10 rebounds to match a season high in last Saturday's win at Monmouth University. Reason scored all 10 of his points in the first half, including 8 of Gonzaga's first 14, and grabbed 7 of his boards in the opening half to help Gonzaga take control early. He had scored 10 points three times previously in his career, and missed his career rebounding best by one set last year in Spokane against Monmouth.
TIME CHANGE REMINDER: Gonzaga University's West Coast Conference game in The Kennel on Jan. 13 against the University of San Diego has been changed to a 1 p.m. start. The game time was switched to allow San Diego to make airplane connections.
POUNDING THE BOARDS: Despite being out rebounded for just the third time in 14 outings in last outing at Saint Joseph's University by a slim 35-31 margin, Gonzaga University continues to pound the boards. The Bulldogs, who held a 53-33 advantage at Monmouth University two nights earlier, still have a +12.9 rebounding margin. Gonzaga has grabbed 50 or more rebounds four times this season - 53 at home against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 50 at the University of Washington, 51 at home against Eastern Oregon University and 53 against Monmouth. Gonzaga has out rebounded 11 of 14 opponents this season, 10 of them by double digits. Only Marquette University (31-26), Washington State University (39-36) and Saint Joseph's (35-31) have held the advantage on the boards against this Bulldogs this season. Cory Violette's career-high 20 rebounds against Fresno State University is tied for the fourth highest single-game total this season in NCAA Division I ranks.
VISIT TO GROUND ZERO: It wasn't all business for Gonzaga University on its two-game sojourn to the East Coast. The Bulldogs visited Ground Zero a day prior to meeting Monmouth University. "Since we were so close we wanted to give our players and staff a chance to visit Ground Zero and reflect on this terrible tragedy and make us appreciate how truly lucky we are to live in this country," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "Some of our players may never get another opportunity to visit this part of the country. We are in the business of education, and visiting Ground Zero was definitely an educational, as well as personally touching experience for all of us. Not a day goes by that we aren't reminded somehow of how September 11 impacted each and every one of us."
VIOLETTE BATTLED THE FLU: Sophomore center Cory Violette is hoping seven days between games will help him get over the lingering effects of the flu. Stricken Dec. 24, Violette played a total of 31 minutes (14 and 17, respectively) in the two starts on the East Coast. His previous low in a starting role this season was 21 minutes.
ELITE COMPANY: Gonzaga University is one of just three schools to advance to the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Michigan State University and Duke University are the other two. Duke and MSU appeared in their fourth straight Sweet Sixteen in 2001. Since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there have been 18 occasions where teams have had runs of three years or more into the Sweet Sixteen. The University of North Carolina leads the way with a 9-year stretch from 1985-93, followed by Duke with a 7-year run from 1986-92.
BULLDOGS AND THE KENNEL: The Kennel - home of Gonzaga University's Bulldogs - has gained the reputation as one of the toughest courts in the country. In the last 10 seasons the Bulldogs are 121-9 at home for a nifty 93.1 winning percentage. The Bulldogs went 12-0 at home in 2001, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. The Bulldogs are 38-1 in The Kennel over the past four seasons with this year's 6-0 start. The 2000 squad was 10-1, and the 1999 Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel, winning by an average of 31.9 ppg. The Bulldogs also posted undefeated home campaigns in 1993 (13-0) and 1994 (14-0), and suffered just one home setback in 1996 and 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the country's second-longest active streak. Gonzaga currently has a 19-game home winning streak dating back to the last home game of the 1999-00 campaign, the current streak ranking eighth. Michigan State University heads the current list with 53 straight victories at the Breslin Student Events Center.
WINNING STREAK: Gonzaga University takes a 9-game winning streak into Monday's contestat the University of New Mexico. The Bulldogs strung together a school-record 14-game streak last season.
BULLDOGS VS. LOBOS: Gonzaga University lost to the University of New Mexico 81-80 in overtime last season at the Spokane Arena in the inaugural meeting between the schools. That game featured a 42-minute delay after Gonzaga's Casey Calvary shattered a backboard mid-way through the second half on a slam-dunk attempt. Gonzaga came from a 10-point second-half deficit to force the OT and the Bulldogs missed the potential game-winning shot with 3.4 seconds to go in the extra session.
DICKAU ON WOODEN AWARD TOP 30 LIST: Point Guard Dan Dickau is the third straight Gonzaga University representative on the John R. Wood Award Midseason Top 30 candidates announced Dec. 28 for the 2001-02 Wooden Award All-America Team. Casey Calvary, a Wooden All-America pick last season, and Matt Santangelo in 2000 were the previous Bulldogs on the list. Dickau was on The Wooden Award Top 50 announced this past summer. On March 26, 2002, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Sunday, April 7, 2002, as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year."
FEW'S TWO-YEAR RUN: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few probably never thought life as a head coach would be so "sweet." But in his first two seasons as head coach the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, one of only two NCAA Division I head coaches to accomplish that feat since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Gonzaga, defending national champion Duke University and 2000 national champion Michigan State University are the only three schools to reach the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Few was an assistant coach on Gonzaga's run to the 1999 Elite Eight. Few's 2-year record of 52-16 places him among elite company for second-year head coaches. His 2-year total of 52 wins has him tied for third for second-year coaches with Dan Monson, his predecessor at Gonzaga, and Ben Carnevale of the University of North Carolina (1945-46).
BULLDOGS HIT 20 WINS AGAIN: With a 26-7 record last season, Gonzaga University hit the 20-win plateau for the 8th time in the last 10 seasons, matching the 2000 win total and second all-time behind only the 1999 school record mark of 28-7. Last season marked the fifth time the Bulldogs have hit the magic 20-win plateau in the regular season. The 1994 squad took a 20-6 record into the West Coast Conference Tournament, the 1998 team was 21-8 entering the tourney, the 1999 Bulldogs went 22-6 in the regular season and the 2000 squad was 21-8 heading into the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga's first 20-win season as a NCAA Division I program came in 1992 with a 20-10 mark, falling to Pepperdine University 73-70 in the Bulldogs' first appearance in the WCC Tournament title game.
O-FER FROM THREE: The last time Gonzaga University took the collar from 3-point range was in an 0-for-5 night in The Kennel against the University of Portland on Jan. 27, 1993, a 71-53 Gonzaga victory. Gonzaga has made a 3-point field goal in 279 straight games. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.
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