Bulldogs Begin Drive For 10th Straight WCC Title

Jan. 7, 2010

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 15 - University of Portland
Saturday, January 9 - 7 p.m. PST
Chiles Center (5,000) - Portland, OR
Radio: Sports Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 101.1 KEYF-FM (Spokane)
Network pre-game show 60 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPNU
No. 19/18 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (11-3; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   3 Demetri Goodson, 5-11, 164, So., Spring, TX
       (6.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Sr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (15.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.1 assists, 2.0 steals)
G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-5, 208, Jr., Bainbridge, WA
       (13.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.6 blocks)
C - 00 Robert Sacre, 7-0, 247, So., North Vancouver, B.C.
       (12.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.3 blocks)
F -  20 Elias Harris, 6-8, 215, Fr., Speyer, Germany
       (13.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 0.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.5 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  275-69 (11th year - 21st at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND PILOTS (9-5; 0-0 West Coast) G - 15 Nik Raivio, 6-4, 205, Sr., Vancouver, WA (14.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals) G - 44 T. J. Campbell, 5-9, 190, Sr., Phoenix, AZ (12.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 5.5 assists, 0.6 steals) C - 12 Robin Smeulders, 6-10, 230, Sr., Braunschweig, Germany (11.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.7 blocks) F - 45 Kramer Knutson, 6-9, 220, Jr., Mesa, AZ (5.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.3 steals) F - 3 Ethan Niedermeyer, 6-6, 200, Sr., Lafayette, CA (7.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals) HEAD COACH: Eric Reveno (Stanford, 1989) UP RECORD: 46-63 (4th year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 16 - Saint Mary's College
Thursday, January 14 - 8 p.m. PST
McKeon Pavilion (3,500) - Moraga, CA
Radio: Sports Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 101.1 KEYF-FM (Spokane)
Network pre-game show 60 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2
SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (13-2; 0-0 West Coast)
G -    4 Matthew Dellavedova, 6-4, 185, Fr., Maryborough, Victoria
      (13.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.5 assists, 1.1 steals)
G -  32 Mickey McDonnell, 6-0, 175, Jr., Mesa, AZ
      (12.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 6.4 assists, 1.6 steals)
C -  50 Omar Samhan, 6-11, 265, Sr., San Ramon, CA
      (20.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.5 blocks)
F -   11 Clint Steindl, 6-7, 180, So., Mackay, Australia
      (7.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.4 steals)
F -   21 Ben Allen, 6-11, 250, Sr., Melbourne, Australia
       (9.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.3 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.8 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Randy Bennett (UC San Diego, 1986)
SMC RECORD:  168-99 (9th year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today.

Gonzaga University men's basketball can be heard on Sports Radio 1510 KGA and KEYF-FM 101.1. The network pre-game show begins one hour prior to tipoff. Tom Hudson returns for his eighth season behind the microphone calling the action and former Bulldog Richard Fox is back alongside Hudson as the analyst for the third season. An expanded 45-minute post-game show also follows every game. Gonzaga's radio rights are owned by IMG, the multi-media rights partner for Gonzaga University athletics, which reached a 9-year agreement with Radio Spokane to air Bulldog basketball.

KHQ-TV in Spokane and FSN will once again televise every Gonzaga University game not televised by another entity. In all, 14 regular-season games will be aired locally. Greg Heister returns for his ninth season behind the microphone as the television voice of the Bulldogs. Craig Ehlo begins his fourth season as the color commentator next to Heister. IMG, the multi-media rights partner for Gonzaga University athletics, announced a 10-year extension with KHQ-TV and FSN Northwest for broadcast of Gonzaga men's basketball and other events programming through the 2017-18 season.

The Mark Few TV Show will air every Sunday following NFL football on KHQ-TV, and every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on FSN. Greg Heister will host. The Mark Few Radio Show will air Monday from noon-1 p.m. on Sports Radio 1510 KGA unless the Bulldogs are traveling or have a game. The "GU Coaches Show" hosted by Tom Hudson will also air on 1510 KGA every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. with the exception.

Elias Harris scored on a cross-over move with :12 to play then grabbed the rebound at the other end following a missed trey and Gonzaga University claimed an 85-83 overtime victory over the University of Illinois last Saturday. Gonzaga started the scoring in the OT as Harris made 1-of-2 from the line, but Illini followed with four straight free throws for an 83-80 advantage with 3:06 remaining. A Gonzaga turnover led to a missed 3-point attempt by Dominique Keller, who grabbed the rebound and then turned the ball over to the Bulldogs as Robert Sacre got the steal. Gonzaga called timeout and Matt Bouldin came out of the timeout and nailed a 3-pointer from the left elbow with 1:39 to go to knot the score at 83. Each team missed a shot, but Harris' miss was tied up by the Bulldogs, who had the possession arrow and retained possession. The Bulldogs used a timeout and the ball went to Harris, who made his left-to-right cross over and rolled the ball in for the decisive shot. For awhile it looked like the Bulldogs, who entered the game just 36 hours after playing the University of Oklahoma New Year's Eve in the Spokane Arena, would be the ones posting the blowout. Gonzaga jumped on the Fighting Illini early, building a 10-0 lead. Gonzaga pushed the lead to 32-11 with 10:40 to play in the opening half. Steven Gray, who finished with 20 points, fueled the early charge, hitting a three from the top of the key after a pair of Harris free throws opened the scoring, then scored seven straight points - two treys and a drive - to extend the lead to 17-4 with 14:17 remaining in the half. When Harris put back a rebound of a Bouldin miss and Sacre hit his first career 3-point attempt with 13:09 to play from the left elbow as the shot clock wound down the Bulldogs had a 22-6 lead. With the Bulldogs ahead 24-11 Gonzaga went on an 8-0 run to grab its biggest lead. Gray drove for a layin, Bouldin hit from the top of the key and Kelly Olynyk got an easy layin off a pretty pass from Sacre, who followed with his own 10-foot turnaround jumper on the Bulldogs next trip down the court. But the Illini began to heat up and the Bulldogs, who didn't commit their first turnover until 7:43 remained in the half, finished with six at the half that led to 7 Illinois points. A 10-1 run cut Gonzaga's lead to 33-21 with 6:52 remaining in the half, and Illinois got the deficit to 10 at 41-31 as Mike Davis collected a garbage layup and then connected from the free throw line right extended 3:28 before halftime. Gray scored off an inbounds play, and the Illini scored the last four points of the half to get the deficit to single digits at 43-35. Illinois came out the second half as hot as the Bulldogs were in the first. After missing an easy layin to start the half, Illinois made its next four shots and finally caught the Bulldogs at 45 after a 10-2 second-half start. Illinois held its first of two 8-point leads - its biggest of the game - at 66-58 with 10:35 to play Gonzaga still trailed 68-60 with 8:27 to go. But Sacre got a hook shot to fall from 6 feet through a triple team, Gray hit from the right elbow and Bouldin got a driving layin to pull the Bulldogs within two at 68-66 with 5:57 left. Illinois converted back-to-back baskets to push the lead back to six at 72-66 before the Bulldogs began their final stretch run. Keller sent the game to OT when he hit a wide open trey from the right top of the circle.

Gonzaga University opens West Coast Conference play Saturday at the University of Portland in a 7 p.m. game to be aired on ESPNU and broadcast on the radio on 1510 KGA AM and 101.1 KEYF FM. The Bulldogs play their first three WCC contests on the road, venturing to the Bay Area next week to face Saint Mary's College Thursday and the University of San Diego Saturday. Gonzaga won't make its WCC home debut until Jan. 21 when Pepperdine University visits following by a Jan. 23 visit from Loyola Marymount University.

Gonzaga University has won 12 straight and 26 of the last 27 games against the University of Portland. The last victory for the Pilots came Feb. 19, 2003, when the Pilots took a 72-68 win in the old Kennel, snapping a 21-game home conference winning streak by the Bulldogs. The Portland win also snapped Gonzaga's 14-game winning streak over the Pilots dating back to the 1997 season. Gonzaga leads the series 49-23.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few moved into second place on the school's all-time winningest coaches list with the Bulldogs victory Feb. 5, 2009, at the University of Portland. Few, in his 11th season, is now 275-69 and moved ahead of Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 years). Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) is the all-time leader. He picked up his 275th win Jan. 2, 2010, against the University of Illinois at the United Center in Chicago. Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 127-13, moving ahead of Fitzgerald (112-88) on the all-time wins list. Few also moved ahead of Dick Davey of Santa Clara University (122-88) for second with Gonzaga's victory at the University of San Francisco Feb. 14, 2009. Carroll Williams, SCU (165-137) holds the top spot.

There's no place like home, and the McCarthey Athletic Center has become quite the home for the Bulldogs since it opened for the 2004-05 season. Gonzaga is 67-4 in the new facility, winning its first 38 games in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Santa Clara University halted the streak with an 84-73 victory Feb. 12, 2007. That loss also snapped a 50-game home winning streak for the Bulldogs, at the time the longest streak in the nation, as Gonzaga left the old Kennel with 12 straight home victories. Gonzaga suffered its first loss at home this year Dec. 5 when Wake Forest University escaped with a 77-75 decision. Gonzaga's other losses were during the 2008 season to Washington State University and last year to Portland State University.

Canadians dot the 2010 Gonzaga University roster - four of them to be exact. Three of them come to the Bulldogs from the province of British Columbia to the north of Spokane. Redshirt sophomore center Robert Sacre is from North Vancouver, B.C., freshman forward Kelly Olynyk hails from Kamloops, B.C., and redshirt sophomore forward Bol Kong is from Vancouver, B.C. Mangisto "Manny" Arop is from Edmonton, Alberta, but spent the past few years in Hamilton, Ontario, while playing with NEDA, Basketball Canada's National Elite Development Academy.

Don't forget the Texans as sophomore guard Demetri Goodson and freshman guard G.J. Vilarino hail from the Lone Star State. But in a state where everything is big, these two Gonzaga University Bulldogs might prove that good things do come in small packages. Goodson, from Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, stretches the tape measure to 5-11. Vilarino, from McKinney, Texas, located almost due north of Dallas, stands 6-0.

The West Coast Conference coaches have tabbed Gonzaga University won win its 10th straight WCC regular-season title. The Bulldogs earned six first-place votes and 48 points to edge the University of Portland with the other two first-place votes and 44 points. Saint Mary's College was third with 34 points.

The nine straight West Coast Conference regular-season titles by Gonzaga University marks the longest current streak in the nation and ranks tied for fourth all-time in the NCAA Division I ranks, the Bulldogs knotting the University of Kentucky. The Wildcats won nine straight SEC crowns from 1944-52. UCLA's 13 Pacific-10 Conference titles from 1967-79 head the list.

Gonzaga University climbed back into the Associated Press Top 25 after a one-week hiatus, re-entering the rankings at No. 19. The Bulldogs continued their climb up the ESPN/USA Today rankings, moving up four spots to No. 22. The Bulldogs went 3-0 last week with wins over Eastern Washington University, Oklahoma University and the University of Illinois, the latter in overtime at the United Center in Chicago. Duke University, which defeated the Bulldogs in mid-December at Madison Square Garden, moved up two spots to No. 5. Michigan State University, a 75-71 winner over Gonzaga in East Lansing in the second game of the season, is 10th in the AP poll, 11th in the ESPN/USA Today voting. The University of Wisconsin, downed by the Bulldogs in the semifinals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational, is 7th in AP and 20th in ESPN/USA Today. The Bulldogs have been in the ranked in at least one poll for six straight weeks.

Gonzaga University has extended its string of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 540. The last time the Bulldogs didn't connect from three was Jan. 27, 1993, when they went 0-for-5 at the University of Portland. UNLV holds the all-time record with 738 that started Nov. 26, 1986, through the start of the current season.

Gonzaga University has won 13 straight West Coast Conference season openers, six of them on the road. The last time the Bulldogs lost the first game of the league campaign was Jan. 12, 1996, at Santa Clara University 72-61. The Bulldogs have also won 21 straight WCC regular-season games, going 14-0 last season and winning seven straight to end the 2008 season. Saint Mary's College was the last team to beat the Bulldogs in WCC action, taking an 89-85 overtime win in Moraga, Calif. Counting WCC Tournament games the Bulldogs have won 25 straight games against WCC competition, winning two games in both the 2008 and 2009 WCC Tournament after receiving a bye into the semifinals by virtue of their regular-season crown.

Since suffering three straight losses early last season, Gonzaga University has gone 31-5. Gonzaga lost to the University of Connecticut in the Battle in Seattle, lost at home to Portland State University and fell at the University of Utah for just the third three-game losing streak in head coach Mark Few's tenure. The Zags then won 20 of their final 22 games last season and are off to an 11-3 start this season.

Forward Elias Harris was named the West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Week for his efforts in leading the Bulldogs to a 3-0 week that included wins over the University of Oklahoma and the University of Illinois. He capped the week by collecting his second double-double of the season with 19 points and 16 rebounds and hit game-winning shot with :12 to go in overtime as Gonzaga downed Illinois 85-83 at the United Center in Chicago. He went 7-for-11 from field and 1-for-2 from 3-point range against the Illini. The native of Speyer, Germany, began the week with 22 points in 27 minutes against Eastern Washington University, going 9-for-11 from the field, hitting his only trey and grabbing 7 rebounds. Against Oklahoma he scored 15 points and grabbed 9 boards, going 5-for-6 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range. For the week he scored 56 points for 18.7 ppg, grabbed 24 rebounds for 10.7 rpg, went 21-for-28 from the field for 75.0 percent, 5-for-7 from 3-point range for 71.4 percent, 9-for-14 from the line for 64.3 percent, had 4 assists, 2 blocks and 4 steals. He shared the award with Vernon Teel of Loyola Marymount University.

Elias Harris has the only two double-doubles of the season for Gonzaga University, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against Washington State University and scoring 19 points and grabbing 16 rebounds against the University of Illinois.

Gonzaga University men's basketball redshirt freshman forward Andy Poling has decided to leave the team and pursue opportunities elsewhere that will afford him more playing time. Poling notified Few of his decision upon the team's return from Chicago following the Bulldogs 85-83 overtime victory over the University of Illinois. The Portland, Ore., native appeared in six games this season, going 4-for-5 from the field and averaging 1.8 ppg and an equal number of rebounds while averaging 3.8 minutes/game.

 

 

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