Bulldogs Try To Stay Perfect In WCC

Feb. 3, 2008

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 23 - Saint Mary's
Monday, February 4 - 8 p.m.
McKeon Pavilion - Moraga, CA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2 (Big Monday)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, Jr., Chicago, IL
       (11.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.4 blocks)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 214, So., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (13.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals)
G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-4, 190, Fr., Bainbridge, WA
       (8.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.3 blocks)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 255, Jr., Clarkston, WA
       (12.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.7 blocks)
F -  25 David Pendergraft, 6-6, 223, Sr., Brewster, WA
       (8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  228-57 (9th year - 19th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

No. 25/23 SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (18-3, 5-1 West Coast) G - 13 Patrick Mills, 6-0, 175, Fr., Canberra, Australia (14.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.8 assists, 1.7 steals) G - 24 Todd Golden, 6-3, 180, Sr., Phoenix, AR (6.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals) C - 50 Omar Samhan, 6-11, 265, So., San Ramon, CA (12.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.5 blocks) F - 20 Diamon Simpson, 6-7, 230, Jr., Hayward, CA (12.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.9 blocks) F - 4 Ian O'Leary, 6-7, 220, Jr., Woodland, CA (8.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.4 blocks) HEAD COACH: Randy Bennett (UC San Diego, 1986) SMC RECORD: 120-86 (7th year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 24 - Pepperdine
Saturday, February 9 - 5 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listing)

G -   3 Tyrone Shelley, 6-6, 210, Fr., San Diego, CA
      (15.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.5 blocks)
G -  12 Jason Walberg, 6-4, 190, Sr., Fresno, CA
      (8.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.2 steals)
G -  15 Mychel Thompson, 6-7, 200, Fr., Ladera Ranch, CA
      (8.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals)
G -  31 Ryan Holmes, 6-1, 175, Jr., Phoenix, AR
      (4.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals)
F -     4 Malcolm Thomas, 6-8, 205, Fr., San Diego, CA
      (13.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.6 blocks)
INTERIM HEAD COACH:  Eric Bridgeland (University of Manitoba, 1993)
PU RECORD:  1-3 (1st year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same.
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  2/4 vs. San Diego.
NOTE: Poll rankings are Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN, respectively.

The first real showdown in the West Coast Conference comes Monday when undefeated Gonzaga University (6-0) versus once-beaten Saint Mary's College (5-1) at McKeon Pavilion on the SMC campus. Tipoff is 8 p.m. on ESPN2 as part of Big Monday. The Bulldogs survived a double-overtime scare Saturday at Santa Clara University to keep their WCC slate clean, while SMC bounced back from its only WCC loss to the University of San Diego to topple the University of Portland Saturday in Moraga. The Gaels are ranked 25th in the Associated Press poll and 23rd in the USA Today/ESPN rankings released Monday. Gonzaga will be facing its fourth ranked opponent of the season. The Bulldogs, winners of eight of their nine outings - the lone setback at No. 1 University of Memphis - also received votes in both polls again this week.

A pair of freshmen helped Gonzaga University keep its West Coast Conference slate clean on Saturday. Freshman Austin Daye scored 13 of his career-high 22 points in overtime, including the go-ahead basket, as Gonzaga survived the Broncos' upset bid with an 87-82 double-overtime victory. Freshman Steven Gray, who scored 16 points, made a pair of free throws with 0.3 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Santa Clara's Andrew Zimmerman's short basket with three seconds left forced the second overtime. Josh Heytvelt added 14 points and Jeremy Pargo had 13 points and seven assists for the Zags. Santa Clara was all set to celebrate its second straight regular-season upset over the Bulldogs after Bryant blocked a shot in the final four seconds to preserve a two-point lead. All that remained was for the Broncos to inbound a pass and run out the clock. A long pass was tipped in the backcourt and Gray was fouled by Angley to set the stage for the tying shots. The Broncos made 12 of their first 16 shots of the second half and held a 61-54 advantage going into the final four minutes. The Bulldogs closed to within 63-61 when Austin Daye hit a 3-pointer with 1:32 left. The Broncos worked the clock, grabbing a key offensive rebound, down to 19 seconds before freshman Ben Dowdell was fouled by Daye during a loose ball. Dowdell missed both foul attempts. Matt Bouldin grabbed the rebound to set up the tying free throws.

Gonzaga University entered the weekend with an RPI of 30, just behind No. 14 Stanford. The Bulldogs have a strength of schedule rating of 33, helped by a tough non-conference slate that featured three top 10 teams when they met, including top-ranked University of Memphis.

Gonzaga University is off to a 6-0 start in West Coast Conference play for the seventh time since 1999. The Bulldogs opened the 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006 seasons 6-0, and six times - 1999-01, 2003-04 and 2006 - the Bulldogs finished the first half of WCC play undefeated. The Bulldogs put together undefeated WCC campaigns in 2004 and 2006. Gonzaga has been picked by the WCC coaches to win an eighth straight West Coast Conference crown, the Bulldogs edging Saint Mary's College in the pre-season poll.

Head coach Mark Few picked up his 225th career victory Jan. 19 against the University of San Diego. With 228 victories, Few is third on the all-time Gonzaga victories chart behind Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) and Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 seasons). Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 106-12 and fourth on the all-time WCC wins list behind Carroll Williams, Santa Clara University (165-137), Dick Davey, SCU (122-88) and Fitzgerald (112-88).

Gonzaga University is in search of its 10th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs current streak of nine straight appearances ranks the Bulldogs tied for sixth for consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with the University of Florida, University of Texas and University of Wisconsin.

Gonzaga University is the only school left in NCAA Division I to have both their men's (6-0) and women's (7-0) basketball teams still unbeaten in conference play. Gonzaga's men are 17-5 overall, 6-0 in the West Coast Conference, while the Bulldog women are 16-6, 7-0. Kansas State University also had that distinction until the Wildcat men lost to the University of Missouri Saturday.

Gonzaga University has struggled with Saint Mary's College more than anybody in recent years in the West Coast Conference, but the Bulldogs have still won 22 of the last 24 meetings. Going back to the last 10 meetings between the Bulldogs and their WCC foes, only the Gaels have managed to beat the Bulldogs twice - last season and in 2005 - both times on their home floor of McKeon Pavilion. Over the last 10 meetings - including games of this season - Gonzaga is 10-0 against Pepperdine University and the University of San Diego, and 9-1 against each of the other four schools: University of Portland, Loyola Marymount University, University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University. The Bulldogs put together undefeated WCC campaigns in 2004 and 2006.

Gonzaga University received votes in both major polls this week, the Bulldogs receiving 60 votes in the Associated Press Top 25 and 10 votes in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25. Five teams on the Bulldogs schedule still dot the Top 10 of both polls - Memphis is No. 1 in both polls, the University of Tennessee is No. 7 in both polls, Washington State University is 17th in both polls, the University of Connecticut is 19th in both and Saint Mary's College is 25th in AP and 23rd in USA Today/ESPN.

There's no place like home, and the McCarthey Athletic Center has become quite the home for the Bulldogs since it opened for the 2004-05 season. Gonzaga is 48-2 in the new facility, winning its first 38 games in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Santa Clara University halted the streak with an 84-73 victory Feb. 12, 2007. That loss also snapped a 50-game home winning streak for the Bulldogs, at the time the longest streak in the nation, as Gonzaga left the old Kennel with 12 straight home victories.

There might be some magic in that No. 5 jersey freshman Austin Daye is wearing - especially when it comes to the free throw line. Daye is 69-for-76 for 90.8 percent from the stripe this season. He was ranked seventh nationally at 91.0 percent through games of Jan. 27 when the latest rankings were compiled. Derek Raivio, who wore No. 5 throughout his Gonzaga career, is one of the most prolific free throw shooters in NCAA history. He finished his career hitting 92.7 percent from the line and holds the top three single-season percentage marks in school history. Raivio went 148-for-154 for 96.1 percent to lead the NCAA Division I ranks in percentage a year ago and ranks second all-time on the NCAA single-season list. For his career he went 343-for-370 for 92.7 percent to rank second in the NCAA based on a minimum of 300 free throws made and 2.5 free throws made/game. Raivio set the Gonzaga record of 56 consecutive free throws. Daye had 29 straight makes this season, and had another string of 17 snapped last Monday against the University of Portland.

Gonzaga University has had to work double overtime two years in a row in the Bay Area. Last season the Bulldogs downed No. 23 Stanford University 90-86 as Jeremy Pargo scored 11 of his career-high 23 points in the second overtime. And, using the Pargo model of a year ago, Austin Daye scored 13 of his career-high 22 points in overtime Saturday as the Bulldogs stopped Santa Clara University 87-82.

The national statistics have Gonzaga University players ranked in three categories according to the latest rankings through games of Jan. 27. Austin Daye is seventh in free throw percentage at 91.0 percent and is 81st in blocked shots with 1.7/game. Jeremy Pargo is 20th in assists/game, averaging 6.1. The best team ranking shows the Bulldogs 32nd in 3-point field goal defense, opponents hitting on just 39.6 percent from long range.

For the second time this season Gonzaga University had five players score in double digits Saturday at Santa Clara University - Austin Daye (22), Steven Gray (16), Josh Heytvelt (14), Jeremy Pargo (13) and Matt Bouldin (11). The other time it happened was at home against the University of San Diego.

Gonzaga University men's basketball coach Mark Few added three players to his charges for the 2008-09 season with the signing of three players to letters-of-intent. Andy Poling, 6-11, 230-pound forward from Westview High in Portland, Ore.; Grant Gibbs, 6-5, 190-pound guard from Linn-Mar High in Marion, Iowa, and Demetri Goodson, 6-0, 175-pound guard from Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, made their intentions official to become Bulldogs on the first day of national letter-of-intent signing day. All three had previously made verbal commitments. Poling averaged 13.9 ppg last season to rank fifth in the Metro League in scoring while leading the Wildcats to a 21-8 overall record and 8-2 second-place Metro League finish. He was named honorable mention All-State 6A in Westview's first season in the newly-created State 6A classification. He was also voted first-team All-Metro League for the Wildcats, ranked seventh in the state heading into the State 6A Tournament where they lost their first two games. Poling was rated one of the 20 best centers in the country by one scouring service. Gibbs averaged 15.0 ppg, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rpg as Linn-Mar captured the Iowa State 4A title last spring. He had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the quarterfinal win over Sioux City North; 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 7 steals in the semifinal victory over Urbandale, and scored 15 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and had a pair of assists and steals in the title game against Bettendorf to cap a 24-1 season. He finished third in tournament scoring with 45 points and tied for fourth with 21 rebounds in earning All-Tournament honors. Goodson helped lead Klein Collins to the Region 2 title game last season while averaging 16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 7.0 assists/game. He was an All-State 5A selection, the largest classification in Texas. Goodson was rated as high as the 135th best player in the country by one scouting service.

Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 482. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland. UNLV holds the all-time streak of 668 entering this season.



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