Men's Basketball Host Portland To Begin Home-and-Home
Jan. 25, 2000
Game No. 20 - Gonzaga vs. Portland
Game No. 21 - Gonzaga at Portland
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (14-5, 4-0 in West Coast Conference)
(13.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 6.9 assists, 0.8 steals)
G - 25 Mike Nilson, 6-5, 216, Sr., Seattle, WA
(3.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.6 assists, 2.0 steals)
C - 30 Axel Dench, 6-11, 245, Sr., Melbourne, Australia
(7.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals)
F - 24 Richie Frahm, 6-5, 210, Sr., Battle Ground, WA
(17.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.1 assists, 0.8 steals)
F - 31 Casey Calvary, 6-8, 235, Jr., Tacoma, WA
(12.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.6 blocks)
HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD: 14-5 (1t year) CAREER RECORD: Same
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND PILOTS (7-10, 1-3 in West Coast Conference)
SENIORS END SAN DIEGO JINX: Five Gonzaga University seniors left San Diego, CA, the happiest they have in their respective collegiate careers Saturday as the Bulldogs defeated the University of San Diego 84-79 in overtime. The win ended a 3-year drought for the Bulldogs in their last visit to the USD Sports Center, and gave Axel Dench, Ryan Floyd, Richie Frahm, Mike Nilson and Matt Santangelo their first road win against the Toreros. USD will move across the street into the Jenny Craig Pavilion next season. The Bulldogs lead led 61-55 after a Santangelo jumper with 5:51 remaining, but USC scored 7 straight points for their first lead of the game at 62-61. Frahm quickly gave the lead back to the Bulldogs with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and Cameron Rigby's two free throws tied the game with 1:53 to play. White's layin gave the lead back to USD at 66-64, and Nilson's two pressure free throws with :42 left tied the game. USD had a couple of chances to win the game in regulation, Andre Laws missing a pair of 3-pointers, and White one at the buzzer. Gonzaga quickly gained control in the overtime, Calvary hitting a 3-pointer from straightaway. Tyler Field countered with a layup, but Axel Dench hit a jumper with his foot on the 3-point arc, and Santangelo drilled a 3-pointer for a 74-68 lead with 3:12 remaining. Gourde's rebound layin pushed Gonzaga's lead to 77-69 with 1:41 to go. Frahm, whose 31 points were one shy of his season high and six shy of his career best, made a pair of free throws then followed with a jumper with less than a minute remaining for an 81-73 lead. The Toreros cut the deficit to 82-79 with 11 ticks left when White made 2-of-3 free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt. But Frahm sealed the victory with two free throws with :06 showing.
BULLDOGS ROUT GAELS: Gonzaga University continued its onslaught against West Coast Conference opposition Thursday with a 90-60 win at Saint Mary's College. After leading 19-14 in the first half, the Bulldogs ran off 13 straight points for a 32-14 advantage. After Saint Mary's cut the gap to 32-18, the Bulldogs got 3-pointers from Matt Santangelo and Richie Frahm in a 10-2 run to open a 42-20 advantage on the way to a 44-24 halftime lead. Gonzaga started the second half where it left off in the opening 20 minutes, opening a 30-point lead at the 13:38 mark. SMC went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 21, but the Bulldogs again pulled away and head coach Mark Few cleared the bench with 5:00 remaining. Casey Calvary paced the Bulldogs with 20 points, one shy of his career high set last Saturday in Gonzaga's 97-67 win over Santa Clara University. Santangelo contributed 15 points, 13 in the first half. Frahm scored 14 points and Mark Spink came off the bench for 10 points, his third double-digit effort in the last four games.
SANTANGELO GETS THE RECORD: Senior guard Matt Santangelo got the much-anticipated school career assists record when he handed out five assists against the University of San Francisco on Jan. 13 for the 555th in his career to break John Stockton's mark of 554 set from 1981-84. Santangelo's record-breaking assist was an inbound pass to Ryan Floyd who drained a 3-pointer from the left corner with 16:23 to go in the game, Santangelo's lone second-half assist. Santangelo now has 574 career assists after handing out 7 in each of last week's games. He moved past former University of Portland standout Darwin Cook and into 5th on the all-time WCC list. USF's Orlando Smart holds the WCC mark with 902. With 131 assists this season, Santangelo is 71 shy of breaking Stockton's single-season record of 201 set in 1984. Santangelo had a career-high 184 assists last year.
SANTANGELO POINTS ASSAULT: Matt Santangelo now has 1,596 career points to rank 4th on the Gonzaga University all-time scoring charts. Santangelo needs 51 more points this season to move into third place on the all-time single-season list behind Frank Burgess (2,196 from 1959-61) and Jim McPhee (2,105 from 1986-90).
FRAHM NEARS 1,400 POINT BARRIER: Senior guard Richie Frahm continues his climb up the all-time Gonzaga University points chart, entering Wednesday's game with 1,366 for 9th. His 31 points last Saturday moved him past John Stockton and Bill Suter. Stockton scored 1,340 points from 1981-84, Suter 1,354 from 1963-66. Frahm, who scored 504 points last season, needs 520 points this season to pass Jerry Vermillion for fourth place. Vermillion scored 1,547 points from 1952-55.
FRAHM EARNS SECOND PLAYER OF WEEK HONOR: For the second time in three weeks Gonzaga University's Richie Frahm is the West Coast Conference Player of the Week. Frahm poured in 31 points Saturday in the Bulldogs' 84-79 overtime win at the University of San Diego, the first victory at USD in four years and the first for this year's five Zags seniors that includes the Battle Ground, WA, native. Frahm went 10-of-16 from the field, 2-for-4 from 3-point range and 9-for-10 from the free throw line in helping the Bulldogs snap the USD jinx. For the weekend he averaged 22.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, shot 45.2 percent from the field and 86.7 percent from the line in a road sweep of Saint Mary's College and USD.
FRAHM TOPS WCC IN SCORING: Senior guard/forward Richie Frahm continues to lead the West Coast Conference in scoring with his 17.8 ppg. the University of San Francisco needs 25 or more points Friday to take the lead. In his last seven games, Frahm has connected on 52-of-91 field goal attempts for 57.1 percent, including 26-for-48 from 3-point range for 54.1 percent. In the four WCC games, he's shooting 51.1 percent (24-for-47) from the field, 10-of-23 from 3-point range for 43.5 percent and 19-for-24 from the line for 79.2 percent. The last Bulldog to lead the WCC in overall scoring was Bakari Hendrix, who averaged 19.8 ppg in 1998 on his way to Player of the Year honors.
THIRD STRAIGHT 4-0 START: For the third straight season, Gonzaga University has opened West Coast Conference play 4-0. Last season the Bulldogs were 8-0 and ranked 25th in the ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25 prior to suffering a 75-59 setback at the University of San Diego. Last season was Gonzaga's best-ever start in WCC play. In 1998, the Bulldogs opened the WCC season 5-0 prior to losing 84-83 at USD.
CLOSEST GAME TO DATE: Last Saturday's 84-79 overtime win at the University of San Diego was the closest game the Bulldogs have played since a 60-49 win at the University of Idaho on Jan. 4. In their three previous WCC outings prior to USD, the Bulldogs had defeated Saint Mary's College 90-60, Santa Clara University 97-67 and the University of San Francisco 96-73. Prior to the start of WCC play the Bulldogs had drubbed the University of Texas-Pan American 111-71. Gonzaga's 14 wins this season have been by an average of 19.7 ppg. The win over USD was the first Bulldog victory under 10 points this season. Gonzaga's five losses have been by an average of 9.8 ppg.
SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT: It would be hard to convince anybody right now that Gonzaga University has been a team looking to find its jump shot for most of this season. In the last five outings the Bulldogs have shot 50.0 or better from the field, going 166-for-309 for 53.7 percent. From 3-point range over the same stretch the Bulldogs are 44-for-102 for 43.1 percent. And the Bulldogs, at one point this season shooting 59.2 percent from the free throw line, have gone 102-for-144 for 70.8 percent over the last five games. In four West Coast Conference contests GU is 129-for-241 from the field for 53.5 percent, 36-of-81 from long range for 44.4 percent and 73-for-103 from the line for 70.9 percent.
GUESS WHO'S LEADING THE WAY? Entering this season, the experts figured it would be the Matt Santangelo and Richie Frahm show leading Gonzaga University. Through four West Coast Conference games the duo has not disappointed. Santangelo has found his shooting touch to average a team-leading 19.8 ppg on going 30-for-62 (48.4 percent) from the field, 13-for-32 (40.6) from 3-point range and 6-6 from the line. Frahm, meanwhile, has returned to his form of a year ago by averaging 19.3 ppg in the WCC. He's hit 24-of-47 shots (51.1 percent), 10-of-23 treys (43.5) and 19-of-24 free throws (79.2).
SEASON-HIGH WINNING STREAK: Gonzaga University has a season-high 6-game winning streak entering Wednesday's game with the University of Portland. The Bulldogs had two winning streaks of 6-plus games last season, putting together a mid-season 9-game winning streak, then a late-season 7-game streak, which included the Bulldogs' three wins in the NCAA Tournament.
CALVARY SWATS 'EM AWAY: Casey Calvary matched his career high with 5 blocks in Gonzaga University's win earlier this season over Eastern Washington University. He had 5 blocks last season against St. Martin's College. He has blocked at least one shot in 64 of his last 72 games and in 72 of his 85 career games overall. He has blocked at least one shot in 13-of-18 games he's played this season, including 4 last Thursday at Saint Mary's College. He had at least one block in 20 of the last 21 games his freshman season, then started last season with blocks in 29 straight games. He blocked a shot in 32 of his 34 appearances a year ago. He led the West Coast Conference in blocked shots with 46 as a freshman and again last year with 57. He has 131 blocks in his Gonzaga University career.
GOURDE TOPS WCC FG LIST: Redshirt freshman center Zach Gourde of Gonzaga University heads the West Coast Conference in field goal accuracy, going 63-for-99 for 63.6 percent. He's 24-for-37 in his last five games for 64.9 percent. He went 8-for-14 in Gonzaga's two games last weekend, and has scored at least two field goals in each of the Bulldogs' last 11 games. He went a season-best 9-for-11 in the second game of the season against Eastern Washington University.
NILSON CAREER HIGH BOARDS: Senior guard Mike Nilson grabbed a career-high 9 rebounds in Thursday's win at Saint Mary's College. His previous best was 8 twice, the last time against the University of Oregon in the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic in Hawai'i in December.
OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION: Gonzaga University is averaging 95.6 ppg in its last five outings, the 84 points scored last Saturday at the University of San Diego the Bulldogs' lowest point total in that stretch. Gonzaga entered the USD game having scored 90 ore more points in four straight games, the first time in Gonzaga's 42-year NCAA Division I history the Bulldogs had turned the trick. The 1963-64 squad scored 90 or more in four 4 of the first 5 games to open the season.
SAGARIN RANKINGS: Through Sunday's games, Gonzaga University was ranked 18th in the Jeff Sagarin NCAA Basketball Rankings. The Bulldogs have an 86.67 rating. Oklahoma State University is 17th at 86.78 and Purdue University is 19th at 86.52. The Bulldogs finished 18th last year with an 87.01 rating. Gonzaga's schedule is ranked 38th with a 76.88 rating. The University of Cincinnati, a 75-68 winner over Gonzaga this season, sits atop the Sagarin ratings with a 96.79. The University of Wisconsin has the toughest schedule with an 82.29 rating. On a conference note, the West Coast Conference is ranked 13th with a 74.33 rating. The Big Ten Conference is No. 1 with an 84.05.
THE POLLS: Gonzaga University gained ground in the Associated Press Top 25 this week, while the Bulldogs lost votes but maintained its position in the ESPN/USA TODAY balloting. The Bulldogs earned 34 points in the AP poll and rank in a tie for 30th with Louisiana State University if the poll was extended. Gonzaga received 16 votes - down from 20 a week ago - in the ESPN/USA TODAY balloting but checked in tied for 31st with the University of Oregon, Seton Hall University and USC if the poll was extended.
BULLDOGS IN 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 nine seasons the Bulldogs are 99-8 at home for a nifty 92.5 winning percentage, including 6-0 at this season. Gonzaga has won 17 straight home games since a 65-64 setback to Pepperdine University in 1998. The Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel in 1999, 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. Gonzaga was 10-1 at home in 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the second-longest active streak in the country.
BULLDOGS HOME STREAK RANKS 9TH: Gonzaga University's current 17-game home streak is 9th in the latest NCAA rankings through Sunday's games. The University of Utah has the longest streak at 46 heading into Monday's home game with Colorado State University.
BULLDOGS HAVE GROUNDED PILOTS RECENTLY: Gonzaga University brings a 6-game winning streak against the University of Portland into Wednesday's game in The Kennel in a series which is all even at 64-64 dating back to the 1947-48 season. Gonzaga holds a 28-13 edge against the Pilots since joining the West Coast Conference for the 1979-80 season, and the Bulldogs have won 16 of the last 21 meetings dating back to the 1990-91 season. The Bulldogs defeated Portland in the 1995 WCC Tournament title game at Santa Clara University 80-67, then the Pilots turned the tables on their Pacific Northwest rival the following season with a 76-68 WCC Tournament championship game victory also at SCU. Gonzaga captured last year's games 104-57 in The Kennel, and 82-73 at the Chiles Center. In the 6-game winning streak, Gonzaga has won the three games in Spokane by an average of 25.7 ppg, and the three games in Portland by an average of 13.0 ppg.
CALVARY HEATS UP: Since going 2-for-7 in the West Coast Conference opener against the University of San Francisco, forward Casey Calvary has warmed up to go 16-for-22 for 72.7 percent from the field in the last three games. He's one of three Bulldog regulars shooting better than 50 percent from the field for the season, hitting 84-of-147 for 57.1 percent.
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