Bulldogs, Gaels In Battle For First
Feb. 2, 2005
Game No. 20 - Saint Mary's
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
No. 17 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (15-4; 5-2 West Coast Conference) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 168, So., Vancouver, WA (12.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.0 assists, 1.9 steals) G - 22 Erroll Knight, 6-7, 211, Jr., Seattle, WA (7.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals) C - 1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 249, Sr., Le Robert, Martinique (16.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.4 blocks) F - 3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, So., Spokane, WA (17.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.6 assists, 0.6 steals) F - 13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Jr., Pernambuco, Brazil (11.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 148-36 (6th year - 16th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Sat., Feb. 5 - 3 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ (Spokane); KONG (Seattle)
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY BRONCOS (12-10; 5-2 West Coast Conference) G - 30 Doron Perkins, 6-2, 200, Sr., Anchorage, AK (15.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.0 assists, 2.2 steals, 0.6 blocks) G - 11 Kyle Bailey, 6-2, 200, Sr., Fairbanks, AK (13.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.3 blocks) G - 5 Brody Angley, 5-11, 195, Fr., Redding, CA (5.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals) C - 15 Sean Denison, 6-11, 230, So., Nelson, B.C. (3.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.3 blocks) F - 41 Travis Niesen, 6-7, 200, Jr., Mission Viejo, CA (15.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals) HEAD COACH: Dick Davey (Pacific, 1964) SCU RECORD: 214-158 (13th year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 2/3 at Portland.
A week that has title implications awaits Gonzaga when West Coast Conference leader Saint Mary's visits on Thursday to tip off the second half of league play and Santa Clara, currently tied with the Bulldogs for second place, invades the McCarthey Athletic Center for a Saturday matinee. The 6-1 Gaels visit the 5-2 Bulldogs for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff, SMC handing Gonzaga one of its two WCC setbacks by an 89-81 count in Moraga, Calif., the opening weekend of WCC play. SCU, downed by Gonzaga 91-87 in the WCC opener at the Leavey Center on the Broncos campus, enters Saturday's 3 p.m. contest winners of five of their last six games since the loss to the Bulldogs. This week's games end a three-game homestand for the Bulldogs who return to the road next week at Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.
Gonzaga will be looking to start another winning streak against Saint Mary's, the Gaels snapping a 17-game losing streak to the Bulldogs with the 89-81 win in Moraga, Calif., the opening weekend of WCC play. The Gaels hadn't won since Jan. 29, 1998, when they took a 76-73 win at McKeon Pavilion. That was the longest current Bulldog streak against any West Coast Conference opponent. Gonzaga took all three meetings a year ago, 75-61 in Spokane, 79-60 in Moraga and 84-71 in the championship game of the WCC Tournament at Santa Clara. Gonzaga leads the all-time series 40-21.
While Gonzaga had its 17-game winning streak against Saint Mary's snapped earlier this year, the Bulldogs will be looking for their 10th straight home win over the Gaels on Thursday. SMC hasn't tasted victory in Spokane since Jan. 21, 1995, when the Gaels took a 68-63 decision. That SMC victory over the defending West Coast Conference regular-season champions came in the middle of a 6-game Gonzaga losing streak to open WCC play. The Bulldogs rallied that year to finish 7-7 in the WCC, entered the WCC Tournament as the fourth seed and captured the championship to earn their inaugural trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Saint Mary's hit 16 3-pointers in the first meeting with Gonzaga, the most treys against the Bulldogs since Washington State went 18-for-37 against the Bulldogs on Dec. 7, 2002, in Gonzaga's 110-104 overtime victory in Pullman. It was the most 3-pointers against Gonzaga in regulation since Santa Clara went 15-for-28 on March 5, 2001, in the title game of the West Coast Conference Tournament in San Diego, Calif., a game won by the Bulldogs 80-77.
With Saint Mary's and Santa Clara re-united as travel partners for the first time since 1997 and for the eighth time since Gonzaga joined the West Coast Conference for the 1979-80 season, Gonzaga has been swept at home by the two schools just once. SMC and SCU downed the Bulldogs in 1995, SCU taking a 73-68 verdict and SMC a 68-63 victory.
By holding San Diego to 30.6 percent from the field two week's ago, 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 42.0 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 36.1 percent from 3-point range against the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga remained 17th in the Associated Press Top 25 this week, and jumped two spots to 21st in the USA TODAY/ESPN balloting. Gonzaga has been as high as 11th AP poll, and 17th in the USA TODAY/ESPN poll.
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 2-for-2 against Portland last Saturday to give him 38 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 36-for-36 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 61-of-67 for 91.0 percent to rank eighth nationally through games of Monday. J.J. Redick of Duke is the national leader at 93.2 percent. The Gonzaga single-season record is 89.2 percent set by Eddie White in 1980.
Gonzaga is shooting 50.7 percent from the field to rank seventh in this week's NCAA Division I statistics. Utah leads the way at 53.9 percent. The 1989 Bulldogs set the school record at 52.0 percent.
If games were played "on paper" then Gonzaga might have won the first meeting with Saint Mary's. In the first game between the teams on Jan. 8, Gonzaga had more field goals (28-26), more free throws (22-21) and more rebounds (35-24) than the Gaels. But the Gaels went on a rampage from 3-point range, connecting on 16-of-27 while Gonzaga was 3-for-11and that was the difference in SMC's 89-81 victory.
Ronny Turiaf has grabbed 42 rebounds in the last four games for an average of 10.5 rpg in that stretch. He began his current streak with double-digit rebounds in the first three games - 10 each against Pepperdine and at San Francisco, and 13 at San Diego - then came back with nine boards against Portland. Turiaf has seven double-digit rebounding games this season and 23 in his career. The senior also contributed a career-high seven assists in last Saturday's win over Portland.
Since seemingly breaking out of a mild shooting slump with a 10-for-16 night against Pepperdine, sophomore Adam Morrison is 11-for-33 from the field for 33.3 percent in the Bulldogs last three games. He did hit a clutch 3-pointer in the final two minutes against Portland to all but put the Pilots away last Saturday. After having a streak of 18 straight double-digit games snapped when he scored nine points at San Francisco and six points at San Diego, he came back for 18 points against Portland.
Junior J.P. Batista continues his torrid shooting. In West Coast Conference play he is 41-for-60 from the field for 68.3 percent, and for the season he is 79-for-121 for 65.3 percent. In the five games he has started the native of Pernambuco, Brazil, is 31-for-44 for 70.5 percent. He's easily within striking distance of Casey Calvary's school field goal percentage record of 65.8 percent (127-for-193) set during the 1999 season. He had a career-high double-double against Portland with 25 points and 12 rebounds. And has scored in double digits in eight of the last nine games and is averaging 16.0 ppg in that stretch.
BACK-TO-BACK LOSSES: 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.
BULLDOGS WHEN RANKED: Gonzaga is 76-15 when ranked, including 13-4 this season. The Bulldogs are 32-0 at home when ranked, 29-6 away and 15-9 on a neutral court.
TURIAF IN RARE COMPANY: With 1,536 career points and 735 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 12.3 long-range bombs/game through the first 19 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 20-game home winning streak that is tied for third 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. Air Force is second with a 24-game streak.
THREE BALL: Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 380. 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 59-11. 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 15-4 start.
DOUDNEY SIDELINED: 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.
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