Bulldogs, Portland In Home-And-Home Week
Jan. 28, 2002
Game No. 22 - Portland Pilots
Wednesday, Jan. 30 - 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
Game No. 23 - Portland Pilots
No. 11 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (18-3, 5-1 West Coast Conference)
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND PILOTS (5-15, 1-5 West Coast Conference)
HOME-AND-HOME WEEK... Gonzaga University and the University of Portland will play their traditional home-and-home series this week when the Pilots visit The Kennel on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. game and the Bulldogs head to the Chiles Center Saturday for the 7 p.m. re-match. Both games will be televised - Wednesday on FOX Sports Net Northwest and Saturday in on PAX in Spokane (UHF Channel 34 and AT&T Broadband Cable Channel 8) and on the Action Sports Cable Network (all Charter Communication Systems in Oregon.
END OF AN ERA: This is the final year Gonzaga University and the University of Portland will play the Wednesday-Saturday home-and-home schedule. The teams are scheduled to open the West Coast Conference regular season against each other next Jan. 11, then meet again on Feb. 11. The sites for those two games have yet to be determined.
SECOND ALL ALONE: Gonzaga University pulled away in the second half to defeat the University of San Francisco 93-73 last Thursday and capture sole possession of second place in the West Coast Conference. The two teams entered the contest 3-1 and knotted for second. Gonzaga's weekend sweep of USF and Saint Mary's College left the Bulldogs (5-1) one game off the pace behind undefeated (6-0) Pepperdine University. USF (4-2) is two games back and the University of San Diego and Santa Clara University are tied for fourth with 3-3 marks. Gonzaga and Pepperdine meet for the second time Feb. 16 in The Kennel.
DOUBLING UP: True freshman Ronny Turiaf recorded the third double-double of his young Gonzaga University career with 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench last Thursday against the University of San Francisco. He had 13 points and 13 boards against the University of Montana and 12 points and 12 rebounds against St. John's University earlier this season.
STEPPING UP: Sophomore guard Blake Stepp, who began West Coast Conference play 5-for-16 from the field, went 8-for-11 against the University of San Francisco last Thursday while equaling his career high with 21 points. He also dished out 8 assists against the Dons after handing out a season-high 9 in his previous outing at Pepperdine University. He's gone three straight games - 89 minutes - without a turnover and has just one turnover in his last 117 minutes over the last four games.
BACK IN FORM: Kyle Bankhead, who went 37-of-73 from 3-point range for 50.7 percent a year ago, is rounding back into that form this season. After going 8-for-19 for 42.1 percent through the first 11 games, he's gone 15-of-34 for 44.1 percent over the past 10 games, including 7-of-14 for 50.0 percent for the past four outings. For the season he's 23-of-53 for 43.4 percent.
BULLDOGS 11th IN AP TOP 25: Gonzaga University gained its highest national ranking ever this week when the Bulldogs jumped five spots to 11th in the Associated Press Top 25. Gonzaga's previous highest ranking in the AP poll was 13th two week's ago, and Gonzaga's highest ranking ever was 12th in the final USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 following the 1999 run to the NCAA Elite Eight. Gonzaga jumped four spots to 14th in this week's USA TODAY/ESPN balloting. It's the eighth straight week for the Bulldogs in the AP rankings since cracking the list Dec. 12 at No. 25, the longest consecutive run by the Bulldogs in school history. Gonzaga had a 7-week appearance from Nov. 8-Dec. 12, 1999. Gonzaga is in the USA TODAY/ESPN poll for the seventh straight week, entering the poll 24th on Dec. 16.
BEST START EVER: With an 18-3 record this season, Gonzaga University is off to its best start since joining the NCAA Division I ranks for the 1958-59 season. The 1966-67 campaign saw the Bulldogs start 14-2 prior to dropping three straight and being 16-5 after 21 games. The 1998-99 squad was 17-4 after 21 games.
HERNANDEZ HEATS UP: Senior Alex Hernandez has heated up from the field since Gonzaga University started West Coast Conference play. The native of Las Vegas, NV, hit 43.3 percent of his shots in non-conference play. But in six WCC tilts he has gone 12-of-20 from the field for 60.0 percent. He hit just 9-of-24 shots in the final six pre-conference games, including a 3-for-10 night at Monmouth University
SOLD OUT: Saturday's game in Portland between Gonzaga University and the University of Portland is sold out.
POUNDING THE BOARDS: After holding a 78-58 edge on the boards in two games last week, Gonzaga University has moved back atop the leader board for rebounding margin in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs, third in the country last week, have a +9.9 rebounding margin to move back ahead of the University of Wyoming (+9.8) and Louisiana Tech (+9.7) through Sunday's games. The Bulldogs out rebounded the University of San Francisco 49-28, then were out rebounded for just the sixth time this season when Saint Mary's College grabbed a 30-29 edge. Gonzaga University turned in another strong rebounding effort Thursday against the University of San Francisco, the Bulldogs holding a commanding 49-28 edge on the boards. Last Thursday's performance was the 13th time Gonzaga held a double-digit edge this season. In addition to the Gaels, the other five times Gonzaga has been out rebounded are 47-33 at Pepperdine University (the only time Gonzaga has been out rebounded by double digits), 41-33 at home against Santa Clara University, 31-26 against Marquette University in the title game of the Great Alaska Shootout, 39-36 at home against Washington State University and 35-31 at Saint Joseph's University. Gonzaga has held the edge in 16 of 21 outings and 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 University. Cory Violette's career-high 20 rebounds against Fresno State University is tied for the eighth highest single-game total this season in NCAA Division I ranks.
CLOSING IN: With 248 assists in his Gonzaga University career, Dan Dickau is seven shy of matching Ken Tyler for 10th on the all-time Bulldog list. Matt Santangelo (1997-00) heads the list with 668, surpassing the longtime record of 554 held by John Stockton (1981-84).
BULLDOGS VS. PILOTS: Gonzaga University holds a 68-64 lead in the overall series with the University of Portland, including a 32-13 edge since the Bulldogs joined the West Coast Conference for the 1979-80 season. The Bulldogs have won 11 straight in the series and 17 straight in The Kennel. The last Portland win was 76-68 in the championship game of the 1996 WCC Tournament, and its last win in The Kennel was 68-64 in 1990.
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 125-9 at home for a nifty 93.3 winning percentage. The Bulldogs went 12-0 at home in 2001, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. The Bulldogs are 39-1 in The Kennel over the past four seasons with this year's 10-0 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 23-game home winning streak dating back to the last home game of the 1999-00 campaign, the current streak ranking tied for fourth with Eastern Illinois University. Detroit heads the list at 38 after Michigan State University had its 53-game streak snapped earlier this season by the University of Wisconsin.
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 the20-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 286 straight games. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.
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