Bulldogs Battle For Sole Possession Of First Place
Jan. 31, 2001
Game No. 20 - Pepperdine University
Friday, February 2 - 7 p.m.
Firestone Fieldhouse - Malibu, CA
Radio: ESPN 630 AM The Score 25 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: FOX Sports Net (Channel 34 on Spokane AT&T Cable)
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (14-5, 6-0 in West Coast Conference)
PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY WAVES (14-5, 6-0 in West Coast Conference)
Game No. 21 - Loyola Marymount University
Saturday, February 3 - 7 p.m.
Gersten Pavilion - Los Angeles, CA
Radio: ESPN 630 AM The Score 25 minutes prior to tipoff
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY LIONS (6-13, 2-4 West Coast Conference)
BULLDOGS, WAVES IN BATTLE FOR LEAD: Then there will be one. Gonzaga University and Pepperdine University, the only two undefeated teams still standing in the West Coast Conference chase, will put undisputed possession of first place on the line Friday at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, CA. Both teams are 6-0 in the WCC after taking care of business last weekend, the Bulldogs at home against Santa Clara University and the University of San Diego, Pepperdine on the road at the University of San Francisco and Saint Mary's College. The teams will have a re-match Feb. 17 in The Kennel, the final home game of the season for the Bulldogs.
D?J? VU: Friday marks the second straight season Gonzaga University and Pepperdine University will bring 6-0 records into their first meeting of the season. Last year the Bulldogs captured a 62-57 victory over the Waves in The Kennel to gain sole possession of first place in the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga improved its record to 9-0 in the WCC prior to losing the re-match at Pepperdine 80-69. The Bulldogs went on to finish 11-3 in the WCC, one game behind Pepperdine for the WCC regular-season title. The Bulldogs, however, won the rubber match with a 69-65 win over the Waves in the WCC Tournament title game at Santa Clara University. Both teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, the Bulldogs beating Louisville University and St. John's University to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Pepperdine topped Indiana University in the first round to advance to the second round.
ANOTHER QUICK START: For the third straight season Gonzaga University is out of the blocks quickly in the West Coast Conference chase. Gonzaga opened last season's WCC action with a 9-0 record prior to dropping back-to-back games at Pepperdine University and at home to the University of San Diego. In 1999 the Bulldogs raced to an 8-0 start prior to dropping their first WCC outing of the season at USD. Gonzaga has started each of the past five seasons of WCC play no worse than 2-0 since dropping the WCC opener in 1996.
ON THE TUBE: Gonzaga University's game Friday at Pepperdine University will be televised on most FOX Sports Net affiliates on the West Coast. Viewers in Spokane can catch the action on Channel 34 on the AT&T Broadband cable system. Check local listings elsewhere for the station and time in your area. Gametime is 7 p.m. PST from Malibu, Calif.
BULLDOGS TOPPLE SCU: Gonzaga University overcame a poor shooting night from the field and survived with a 70-64 West Coast Conference men's basketball victory over Santa Clara University last Thursday. Gonzaga shot just 33.3 percent from the field in the first half, and point guard Dan Dickau went 0-for-6 from the field in the opening 20 minutes as the Bulldogs held a 29-27 advantage. Gonzaga, an uncharacteristic 1-for-17 for 5.9 percent from 3-point range for the game, went 0-for-10 from beyond the arc in the first half. SCU, meanwhile, hit just 31.4 percent of its first-half shots, including 3-for-12 from long range. For the second straight game, the Bulldogs won the game at the free throw line in the second half, hitting 22-of-33 second-half free throws to finish 31-of-51 for the game. SCU went 13-for-16 from the line in the second half to finish 15-for-21 in a game that featured 54 fouls and saw three Broncos and a Bulldog foul out. The Bulldogs held their biggest lead of the night at 50-42 with 11:09 to play, but Gonzaga was unable to shake the Broncos. Clinging to a 67-64 lead in the final minute, the Bulldogs held off the Broncos. Brian Jones missed a shot with :13 to play and the ball went out of bounds to the Bulldogs. Blake Stepp made 1-of-2 free throws with :12 to go to give Gonzaga a 68-64 lead, Jones missed a 3-pointer and Casey Calvary, who matched his career high with 29 points, grabbed the rebound. Dickau was fouled and hit both free throws with :03 to go to seal the victory.
BULLDOGS BOUNCE USD: Gonzaga University rallied from a 35-34 halftime deficit and held the University of San Diego to 22 second-half points in rolling to a 78-57 West Coast Conference men's basketball victory last Saturday, the eighth straight win for the Bulldogs. Junior point guard Dan Dickau went 6-for-7 from the field and 11-for-11 from the free throw line for a career and game-high 25 points. Gonzaga returned to form from the field against USD, going 27-for-55 from the field for 49.l percent and connected on 8-of-17 trey attempts. With USD trailing just 43-40 in the second half, the game took a turn for the Bulldogs. With 15:11 to go in the game USD coach Brad Holland was whistled for a technical foul. Dickau stepped to the line and sank both free throws for a 45-40 lead. Casey Calvary's jumper on the ensuing possession at 14:58 gave Gonzaga a 47-40 lead, and Holland, who went on the floor to apparently call a timeout, was whistled for a second technical which led to his ejection. Dickau sank both free throws and the Bulldogs had a 49-40 lead. Gonzaga finished a 17-0 run with a Blake Stepp 3-pointer from the right corner for a 55-40 lead with 11:06 to go. Gonzaga continued to build on the lead which grew to as many as 23 points with 2:01 to play on Stepp's 3-pointer for a 78-55 advantage.
CALVARY WOODEN AWARD NOMINEE: Gonzaga University senior forward Casey Calvary is one of the top 30 mid-season candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. The mid-season list was released Dec. 28. Calvary was originally one of the Pre-season Top 50 candidates for the 2000-01 Wooden Award All-American Team. On March 27, 2001, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Friday April 6, 2001 as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year." The event will be a one hour telecast on FOX Sports Net. The top 50 Candidates have been selected based on last year's individual performance and team records. In late December, the Wooden Award committee will release the Mid-season Top 30 during a half-hour program on FOX Sports Net. This is the second straight year the Bulldogs have had a Wooden Award nominee, guard Matt Santangelo getting the nomination a year ago.
FEW'S ROOKIE SEASON: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few had one of the best rookie seasons in NCAA history, the Bulldogs' 26 wins ranking him tied for 7th for "Top 10 Career Starts For Head Coaches By Victories." He's tied with such coaching legends as Jim Boeheim at Syracuse University (1977), Denny Crum of the University of Louisville (1972) and Nolan Richardson of Tulsa University (1981). All won 26 games as rookie head coaches at the NCAA Division I level.
20 WINS AGAIN: For the seventh time in eight years Gonzaga University hit the 20-win plateau, the Bulldogs' 26 wins last season second only behind the 1999 school record mark of 28-7 mark. Last year marked the fourth time the Bulldogs 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.
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 111-9 at home for a nifty 92.5 winning percentage, finishing 10-1 last season. 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. The Bulldogs are 8-0 at home this season and have a winning margin of 27.9 ppg.
CALVARY PASSES 1,000-POINT PLATEAU... Senior forward Casey Calvary has become the 22nd played in Gonzaga University to surpass the 1,000-point barrier, entering Friday's game at Pepperdine University with 1,275 points. That ranks him 12th in school history. He needs 66 points to move past John Stockton (1,340) and into 11th. Calvary should move into the top 10, needing 80 more points to surpass Bill Suter at No. 10 with 1,354.
...AND SURPASSES 600 REBOUNDS: Casey Calvary became just the fourth player in Gonzaga University history to join the 1,000-point/600-rebound club. He grabbed 7 rebounds against Monmouth University on Dec. 30, 2000, to join the 600 rebound club. He has 657 rebounds entering Friday's game at Pepperdine University to rank 5th on the all-time Gonzaga list. He needs 10 to claim 4th from Jim Dixon (666 from 1962-63). Jerry Vermillion (1,547 points/1,670 rebounds), Gary Lechman (1,452/910) and Greg Sten (1,168/783) are the other three members of the 1,000 points/600 rebound club.
BLOCK PARTY: With three blocks against Santa Clara University on Jan. 25, 2001, Casey Calvary became the most prolific shot blocker in West Coast Conference history with 186. He entered Thursday's game tied with Scott Thompson of the University of San Diego (1983-87) with 183 each. With 27 this season, Calvary now has 187 in his career. Calvary is by far the all-time leader in GU history (Tim Ruff is second with 99).
TEAM BLOCKS RECORD MATCHED: Gonzaga University rejected 11 Santa Clara University shots last Thursday to match the single-game school record. The Bulldogs blocked 11 shots on Nov. 30, 1990, against St. Peter's College in the KYLT Classic in Missoula, Mont., then equaled that on Feb. 11, 1999, against Saint Mary's College in The Kennel.
BANKHEAD CLEARED: Backup guard Kyle Bankhead was cleared to return to action last Saturday against the University of San Diego but did not see any action. He suffered a broken third metacarpal on his left hand the opening weekend of West Coast Conference play and missed three games prior to be cleared for last Saturday. The walk-on redshirt freshman scored in double digits each of the last four games prior to the injury. He's averaging 10.5 ppg in that stretch.
BULLDOGS WIN 200TH: Gonzaga University's win at the University of Montana earlier this year was the 200th for the Bulldogs in the last 10 seasons. Gonzaga is 209-88 since the 1991-92 season for a .704 winning percentage.
SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine University and Gonzaga University have identical 14-5 overall records and 6-0 West Coast Conference marks heading into Friday's game in Malibu, Calif. The Waves are led by Brandon Armstrong, the WCC's leading scorer at 21.5 ppg and the WCC Player of the Week each of the last two weeks. He's averaging 24.5 ppg in six WCC contests. Reserve senior forward David Lalazarian has sic straight double-figure scoring games for the Waves, averaging 14.3 ppg and 6.2 rpg in WCC play. He's shooting 63.8 percent from the field in league action. Pepperdine is 7-1 in Firestone Fieldhouse this season, the lone setback a 69-56 non-league loss to the University of Utah on Dec. 19.
SCOUTING THE LIONS: Loyola Marymount University is greatly improved over last season when the Lions went 2-25 overall, 0-14 in the West Coast Conference and failed to win a Division I game. Steve Aggers, no stranger to the WCC and Gonzaga University, coaches the Lions. Aggers is a former Pepperdine University assistant (1990-94), and spent the past five seasons as the head coach at Eastern Washington University, located 18 miles from Gonzaga. LMU lost the services of senior forward Elton Mashack, who sat out the SMC game after suffering an sprained ankle. Mashack is second on the team with his 12.3 ppg. Robert Davis, who was out of the starting lineup for the first time all season last weekend, still leads the team in scoring at 12.4 ppg. The Lions snapped a 3-game losing streak with the win at SMC. LMU is seventh in the WCC in scoring at 64.2 ppg and fifth in defense at 70.5 ppg.
CHILLY FROM THREE: Gonzaga University had one of its worst nights ever from 3-point range, going 1-of-17 for a frigid 5.9 percent against Santa Clara University. The Bulldogs went 2-for-16 for 12.5 percent last season in an 80-69 loss at Pepperdine University. The only trey against SCU came from Casey Calvary with 8:23 to go in the contest. Blake Stepp was 0-for-7 and Dan Dickau 0-for-5 from long range as Gonzaga's starting guards struggled, going a combined 3-for-19 from the field.
0-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. 30, 1993, a 71-53 Gonzaga victory. That was the second time in three games the Bulldogs failed to connect from 3-point range, having gone 0-for-7 nine days earlier in The Kennel in a 64-61 win over Santa Clara University. Gonzaga has made a 3-point field goal in 251 straight games entering Friday's game at Pepperdine University. Since the inception of the 3-point shot for the 1986-87 season Gonzaga has led the West Coast Conference 10 of the 14 seasons the shot has been in effect, including the last three. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.
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