Bulldogs Host Portland Saturday
Jan. 27, 2005
Game No. 19 - Portland
Sat., Jan. 29 - 8 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 17 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (14-4; 4-2 West Coast Conference) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 168, So., Vancouver, WA (12.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.2 assists, 2.0 steals) G - 22 Erroll Knight, 6-7, 211, Jr., Seattle, WA (7.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.6 steals) C - 1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 249, Sr., Le Robert, Martinique (16.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.3 blocks) F - 3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, So., Spokane, WA (17.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.6 assists, 0.7) F - 13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Jr., Pernambuco, Brazil (10.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 147-36 (6th year - 16th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Thurs., Feb. 3 - 5:30 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ; FSN
SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (17-5; 4-1 West Coast Conference) G - 2 E.J. Rowland, 6-2, 190, Sr., Salinas, CA (10.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 assists, 1.7 steals) G - 21 Jason Walberg, 6-4, 190, Jr., Fresno, CA (5.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 14 Daniel Kickert, 6-10, 240, Jr., Melbourne, Australia (14.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.9 blocks) F - 32 Jonathan Sanders, 6-7, 215, Sr., Denver, CO (8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.6 blocks) F - 11 Paul Marigney, 6-3, 195, Sr., Oakland, CA (14.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.5 blocks) HEAD COACH: Randy Bennett (UC San Diego, 1986) SMC RECORD: 60-52 (4th year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 1/27 vs. San Francisco; 1/29 vs. San Diego.
Gonzaga begins a three-game home stand Saturday when Portland visits the sold out McCarthey Athletic Center for an 8 p.m. tip in a game to be aired nationally on ESPN2. Gonzaga will host Saint Mary's next Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and Santa Clara one week from Saturday at 3 p.m. The home stand marks the first time the Bulldogs will have been home for three straight games since the season openers Nov. 19 (Portland State), Nov. 21 (Montana) and Nov. 24 (Idaho).
While Gonzaga has played some big games in recent years - including this season - perhaps none was bigger than the one the Bulldogs turned in last Saturday at San Diego. Coming off a Thursday loss at San Francisco, the Bulldogs faced the prospect of falling two games behind the leaders in the loss column as the West Coast Conference season nears the halfway point this weekend. But the effort the Bulldogs turned in - especially in the second half - against the Toreros kept Gonzaga squarely in the thick of the WCC regular-season chase. Following Thursday's 73-70 setback at USF, Gonzaga saw itself down by 10 points early to the Toreros, battled back to take a 35-34 halftime lead and then held USD to just two field goals in the second half for a 68-56 victory. USD went just 2-for-20 from the field in the second half, didn't score its first points until 12:11 remained in the game to halt a 16-0 Gonzaga run to start the half and finished with an inconsequential trey with :36 remaining in the contest.
Gonzaga held a 2-to-1 edge in rebounding last Saturday against San Diego with a 46-23 advantage. The last time Gonzaga had a 2-to-1 or better edge on the boards was Dec. 1, 2001, when the Bulldogs held a 44-16 advantage on the boards against Portland State for nearly a 3-to-1 margin. Gonzaga also doubled up Montana on the boards that season, 48-24 in a game played Nov. 18, 2001. The +23 was the first time this season Gonzaga has out rebounded a foe by 20 or more. It's not a rarity of late, however, Gonzaga turning the trick 12 times the previous three seasons.
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few altered his starting lineup last Saturday against San Diego, inserting true freshman David Pendergraft in place of sophomore Adam Morrison. "We just needed to try something to get us out of the gate better defensively and on the boards," Few said. It was Pendergraft's first collegiate start after appearing in all previous 17 games off the bench.
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 69 games since that Saint Joseph's loss without losing back-to-back games.
By holding San Diego to 30.6 percent from the field, Gonzaga has now held seven opponents under 40 percent this season. Only two teams - Portland State (61.2 percent in the season opener) and Washington (50.8 percent) have shot 50 percent or better from the field this season against Gonzaga. Teams are shooting 41.8 percent from the field against the Bulldogs this season. USD's 3-for-16 for 18.8 percent from 3-point range was second to the 3-for-19 for 15.8 percent by Loyola Marymount as the worst opponent night from long range against the Bulldogs this season. Teams are shooting 35.5 percent from 3-point range against the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga dropped six spots to 17th in the Associated Press Top 25 this week, and fell three spots to 23rd in the USA TODAY/ESPN balloting. Gonzaga had moved back to 11th last week in the AP poll, the second time this season Gonzaga had been 11th. The Bulldogs spent two weeks at 20th in the USA TODAY/ESPN poll prior to this week's drop.
Sophomore point guard Derek Raivio hasn't missed a free throw this year and inched closer to the Gonzaga record for consecutive free throws made when he went 13-for-13 in the two games last week to give him 36 straight. Raivio missed his final two attempts Dec. 28, 2004, against Oklahoma State and hasn't missed since. He ended 2004 with a 2-for-2 night at Missouri and is a perfect 34-for-34 in calendar year 2005. Geoff Goss holds the Gonzaga record of 41 set Dec. 23, 1992-Jan. 21, 1993. Portland's Kasey Flicker holds the West Coast Conference record with 43 straight during the 1994-95 season. For the season Raivio is 59-of-65 for 90.8 percent to rank 10th nationally through games of Monday. J.J. Redick of Duke is the national leader at 95.6 percent. The Gonzaga single-season record is 89.2 percent set by Eddie White in 1980.
Gonzaga is shooting 50.9 percent from the field to rank 10th in this week's NCAA Division I statistics. Utah leads the way at 53.5 percent. The 1989 Bulldogs set the school record at 52.0 percent.
Ronny Turiaf has grabbed double-digit rebounds in each of the last three games - 10 each against Pepperdine and at San Francisco, and 13 last Saturday at San Diego. Turiaf has seven double-digit rebounding games this season and 23 in his career. He's averaging 9.0 rebounds/game. He had a career-high 14 rebounds against Massachusetts earlier this season.
Sophomore Adam Morrison had scored in double digits in 18 straight games over the past two seasons until scoring nine points at San Francisco last week. The nine points followed a 26-point effort against Pepperdine that tied his career high set in back-to-back games earlier this season against Illinois and Washington.
Junior J.P. Batista continues his torrid shooting, going 9-for-10 from the field in Gonzaga's win at San Diego. For the season he's 71-for-110 for 64.5 percent. He's within striking distance of Casey Calvary's school record of 65.8 percent (127-for-193) set during the 1999 season. Prior to his outburst against San Diego the native of Pernambuco, Brazil, was in a 7-for-14 "slump" over the previous two games. He has shot less than 50 percent from the field in just three games this season - Illinois (4-for-10, 40.0), Washington State (2-5, 40.0) and Pepperdine (1-3, 33.3). He's also scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games and is averaging 14.9 ppg in that stretch.
True freshman David Pendergraft got his first career start last Saturday at San Diego, playing 21 minutes with 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 turnovers before fouling out. He went 3-for-5 from the field.
Gonzaga is 75-15 when ranked, including 12-4 this season. The Bulldogs are 31-0 at home when ranked, 29-6 away and 15-9 on a neutral court.
Gonzaga junior guard Nathan Doudney will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He was injured early in the second half of the Dec. 7 game at Washington State. He had surgery Jan. 20, 2005, to repair the ACL and meniscus. Surgery was delayed to allow his medial collateral ligament to heal. Rehabilitation is expected to take approximately nine months.
BULLDOGS VS. PILOTS: Gonzaga University hosts the University of Portland on Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2, the Pilots holding the distinction of being the last team to down the Bulldogs on their home floor. Portland took a 72-68 victory on Feb. 19, 2003, in The Kennel, the Bulldogs previous home court next door to the brand new McCarthey Athletic Center where the Bulldogs are 7-0 this season. Following that Portland victory Gonzaga ran off 17 straight West Coast Conference regular-season victories, a streak that was snapped earlier this season at Saint Mary's. Gonzaga leads the all-time series 73-65 dating back to the 1959 season. Portland joined the WCC for the 1976-77 season and Gonzaga followed for the 1979-80 season. Since Gonzaga joined the WCC the Bulldogs hold a 39-15 edge in the series. Portland's win in 2003 snapped a 14-game Gonzaga win streak in the series. The Bulldogs captured both contests last season.
TURIAF IN RARE COMPANY: With 1,520 career points and 726 career rebounds, Gonzaga University senior Ronny Turiaf has become just the third member of the 1,500 points/700 rebounds club. Jerry Vermillion (1952-55) was the first with 1,547 points and 1,670 rebounds. Casey Calvary (1998-01) finished with 1,509 points and 757 rebounds. Turiaf is just the 10th Bulldog to score 1,500 points and is the sixth to grab 700 rebounds.
BULLDOGS FROM LONG RANGE: From 1998-03 Gonzaga University never averaged less than 18.4 3-point field goal attempts/game. But the trend away from the 3-pointer began last year for Gonzaga and has carried over to this season. Last year Gonzaga shot 491 treys for an average of 15.8/game. This year the Bulldogs are averaging just 12.2 long-range bombs/game through the first 18 games. The Bulldogs shot a career-low 156 in 1987 for 5.6/game in the first year of the rule that changed the offensive strategy of basketball. It wouldn't be until 1991 the Bulldogs would average double-digit treys at 12.3/game. The all-time high was 20.9/game in 1999 when the Bulldogs launched a school record 730. Gonzaga has led the West Coast Conference 12 times in 3-point percentage, including a school-best 46.1 percent in the second year of the shot in 1988.
YOU CAN CALL ME: There has been much debate on television, on the radio and in the print media this season over the pronunciation of Gonzaga University sophomore Derek Raivio's last name. While the sophomore from Vancouver, Wash., insists he doesn't care, the correct pronunciation is rye-VEE-oh. All of last season and through the early part of this season everyone has gone with rav-EE-oh.
HOME, SWEET HOME: Gonzaga University has a modest 19-game home winning streak that is tied for fourth with Southern Illinois University in the NCAA Division I ranks through games of Tuesday. Oklahoma State University leads the way with a 25-game streak after the University of Wisconsin saw its 38-game streak snapped Tuesday against top-ranked University of Illinois. Air Force is second with a 22-game streak.
THREE BALL: Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 379. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, when the Bulldogs went 0-for-5 at home against Portland.
ON A ROLL: Since starting the 2003 season 8-5, Gonzaga University is 58-11. Gonzaga put together a 9-game winning streak and went 16-4 down the stretch following that 8-5 start, last year's club went 28-3 and this year's team is off to a 14-4 start.
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