Bulldogs, Dons Meet Monday In San Francisco

Jan. 22, 2006

Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 19 - San Francisco Dons
Mon., Jan. 23 - 8 p.m. PST
War Memorial Gym - San Francisco, CA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: PAX-TV (Spokane); FSN (Check local listings); KICU-TV (San Francisco)
No. 6 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (15-3; 5-0 West Coast)
G -   5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 175, Jr., Vancouver, WA
       (13.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.2 steals)
G -   4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 181, So., Montreal, Quebec
       (4.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks)
C -  13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Sr., Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil
       (19.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks)
F -    3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, Jr., Spokane, WA
       (27.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks)
F -  32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 218, Jr., Spokane, WA
       (6.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.4 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  174-40 (7th year - 17th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO DONS (7-10; 3-1 West Coast) G - 11 Armondo Surratt, 6-0, 170, Jr., Oakland, CA (13.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.5 assists, 1.8 steals) G - 21 Jerome Gumbs, 6-4, 210, Sr., St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (10.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.9 steals) C - 25 Alan Wiggins, 6-8, 225, Jr., San Diego, CA (13.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.9 blocks) F - 30 Jesse Byrd, 6-8, 225, Fr., Oakland, CA (2.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.4 steals) F - 41 Danny Cavic, 6-2, 205, So., Tustin, CA (4.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals) HEAD COACH: Jesse Evans (Eastern Michigan, 1972) USF RECORD: 24-24 (2nd year) CAREER RECORD: 156-105 (9th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 20 - Portland Pilots
Sat., Jan. 28 - 5 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (Check local listings)
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND PILOTS (8-11; 2-3 West Coast)
G -  1 Darren Cooper, 6-3, 180, Sr., Portland, OR
      (13.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -  4 Donald Wilson, 6-4, 205, Sr., Los Angeles, CA
      (8.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.2 assists, 0.9 steals)
G - 11 Pooh Jeter, 5-11, 175, Sr., Gardena, CA
      (17.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals)
C -    2 Kevin Field, 6-11, 280, Jr., Tacoma, WA
      (5.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.3 blocks)
F -  45 Ben Sullivan, 6-10, 240, Jr., Lake Oswego, OR
      (8.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Michael Holton (UCLA, 1992)
UP RECORD:  51-84 (5th year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  1/23 at San Diego.

Gonzaga got a big shot from an unexpected player Saturday to push its West Coast Conference record to 5-0 with a 64-63 win at San Diego. Senior Erroll Knight, who had hit just 1-of-8 shots from the field for the season and had yet to attempt a 3-point shot entering the game, drilled a trey from the right corner with :09 remaining to give the Bulldogs the win. Knight had missed his first 3-point attempt of the season earlier in the half, but after a Derek Raivio 3-pointer missed with 14 seconds to go, Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes flipped the ball to the wide-open Knight who calmly sank what proved to be the game-winning shot. The Toreros had two last-gasp shots but couldn't connect on either as sixth-ranked Gonzaga avoided what was a day of upsets among Top 10 teams.

Nobody associated with Gonzaga could think of a better player to hit Saturday's game winner than Erroll Knight. "He deserved that," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "It couldn't happen to a better person with what he's been through this season." Knight's senior season has been one of frustration as two arthroscopic knee surgeries within 20 days of each other in November sidelined him for the first eight games of the season. He had scored just two points in his first nine games back. But Saturday he went 4-for-9 from the field for a season-high 10 points, grabbed four rebounds, had one steal and blocked a pair of shots in his best all-around performance this season.

Junior Sean Mallon was back in the starting lineup Saturday after suffering a mild concussion during last Monday's game against Loyola Marymount. Mallon hit his head on the court with 14:50 to play in the first half. He returned for one more minute later in the half and did not see any action in the second half. He played 17 minutes at San Diego, scored 6 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.

Gonzaga was still sitting atop the NCAA Division I leaderboard for free throw percentage at 80.5 percent from the line (330-for-410) entering last Saturday's game, and the Bulldogs did nothing to jeopardize that ranking. Gonzaga went 14-for-16 from the field for 87.5 percent in the win at San Diego and is now 344-for-426 for 80.8 percent. The Bulldogs had their worst night of the season from the line with a 17-for-26 night for 65.4 percent against Pepperdine, the first time this season the Bulldogs had been under 70 percent in a game. But Gonzaga has come back to go 32-for-38 for 84.2 percent in the last two games. The Bulldogs rallied to shoot 81.8 percent on 18-for-22 against Loyola Marymount following the Pepperdine game. Gonzaga has had eight games this season of 20 or more free throws made. The Bulldogs went 27-for-28 for 96.4 percent against Michigan State for the second-best percentage in school history, and 25-for-26 at Saint Mary's for 96.2 percent and the third best single-game percentage in school history. Gonzaga went 20-for-20 against Eastern Washington on Dec. 11, 1993, for the school record. The NCAA Division I single-season team free throw percentage record is held by Harvard, which went 535-for-651 for 82.2 percent in 1984.

Since Gonzaga's streak of seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances began in 1999, the Bulldogs have gone 92-11 in West Coast Conference regular-season play, including 14 straight victories. Overall in that stretch the Bulldogs are 109-12 against WCC foes including WCC Tournament games. The Bulldogs have been most dominant against Saint Mary's, posting a 20-1 overall record and 14-1 regular-season record. Only Pepperdine, San Diego and Santa Clara have managed to beat the Bulldogs more than once over the last eight seasons. Pepperdine and USD have turned the trick three times each, while SCU has a pair of wins over the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs lost 73-70 at San Francisco last season before running off nine straight to end the regular season, and have opened this season with five straight. Dating back to last season's WCC Tournament the Bulldogs have won 16 straight over WCC competition. Gonzaga, which has won or shared seven of the last eight WCC regular-season titles, went 14-0 in West Coast Conference play in 2004, the first team since Pepperdine in 1992 to run the regular-season table. The Bulldogs posted back-to-back 13-1 seasons in 2001-02.

Based on official statistics through Saturday's games (the official NCAA statistics will be released Tuesday), Gonzaga's Adam Morrison has slipped to second in the Division I scoring race. Morrison had a season-low 16 points Saturday at San Diego and is now averaging 27.6 ppg. Andre Collins of Loyola (Md.) is now averaging 27.8 ppg and J.J. Redick of Duke is at 27.2 ppg for third after his 41-point outburst in Saturday's loss to Georgetown.

Since missing his first free throw of the game New Year's Eve against Saint Joseph's, Derek Raivio has made 18 straight. Raivio had a streak of 28 straight snapped Dec. 17 against Virginia. He tied the school record a year ago with 41 consecutive free throws. Raivio is a career 91.3 percent free throw shooter, connecting on 157-of-172 attempts, to sit atop the Gonzaga career percentage chart.

Gonzaga had a 12-game winning streak against San Francisco snapped in last year's first meeting at War Memorial Gym, a 73-70 Dons victory. The Bulldogs came back to win the rematch in the McCarthey Athletic Center 75-73 as Adam Morrison hit an 18-foot jumper with less a second to play to break the tie and clinch the regular-season title. The Bulldogs have won 27 of the last 33 meetings since losing both games in the series in 1989, the last time the Dons have put together back-to-back wins over GU.

Gonzaga has a share of the current NCAA Division I home court winning streak list with 32 straight after Southern Illinois posted a win over Illinois State on Sunday to catch the Bulldogs. Gonzaga's next home action will be Saturday against Portland, while SIU will host Creighton on Tuesday. The 32-game Gonzaga streak is the second-longest in school history. The longest streak in Gonzaga history is 34 games from Dec. 1, 1992-Jan. 3, 1995, which was the second-longest streak in the country at the time. Gonzaga also had a 29-game streak Feb. 19, 2000-Dec. 20, 2002 that Saint Joseph's ended on Dec. 31, 2002.

J.P. Batista scored all 16 of his points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds at San Diego for his 10th career double-double. He was the West Coast Conference Player of the Week last week after averaging 26.0 ppg and 10.5 rpg in wins over Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.

Derek Raivio failed to score last Saturday for the first time since the final game of 2004. Raivio went 0-for-9 from the field and did not have any free throw attempts. The last time he failed to score was against Nevada in the 2004 NCAA Tournament in Seattle.

After a six-game stretch in which he went 4-for-17 from the field, Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes has gone 11-for-17 from the field (64.7 percent) in the last three games, including 5-for-10 Saturday at San Diego on his way to a career-high 12 points. He's now shooting 42.4 percent for the season.

Gonzaga has not lost back-to-back games since the 2002-03 season when the Bulldogs lost Dec. 28, 2002, against Stanford 81-71 in the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland, Calif., and Dec. 31, 2002, at home to Saint Joseph's 79-78 in overtime. Gonzaga has played 94 games since that Saint Joseph's loss without losing back-to-back games.

Gonzaga has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 411. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland.

 

 

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