Bulldogs Ready For College Game Day Tilt
Feb. 8, 2006
Game No. 23 - Stanford Cardinal
Sat., Feb. 11 - 6 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN (College Game Day)
No. 5 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (19-3; 9-0 West Coast) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 175, Jr., Vancouver, WA (12.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.5 steals) G - 4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 181, So., Montreal, Quebec (4.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks) C - 13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Sr., Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil (19.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.7 blocks) F - 3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, Jr., Spokane, WA (28.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks) F - 32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 218, Jr., Spokane, WA (7.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.4 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 178-40 (7th year - 17th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Mon., February 13 - 7 p.m. PST
Chiles Center - Portland, OR
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KREM-TV (Spokane); KDPX-TV UPN 49 (Portland)
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND PILOTS (8-15; 2-7 West Coast) G - 1 Darren Cooper, 6-3, 180, Sr., Portland, OR (13.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.1 assists, 0.9 steals) G - 11 Pooh Jeter, 5-11, 175, Sr., Gardena, CA (17.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals) C - 2 Kevin Field, 6-11, 280, Jr., Tacoma, WA (4.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.3 blocks) F - 45 Ben Sullivan, 6-10, 240, Jr., Lake Oswego, OR (7.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.7 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 4 Donald Wilson, 6-4, 205, Sr., Los Angeles, CA (8.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals) HEAD COACH: Michael Holton (UCLA, 1992) UP RECORD: 51-88 (5th year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.
The game Gonzaga and its fans have been waiting for is here - College Game Day on ESPN and a visit from the Stanford Cardinal this Saturday. It all begins with the one-hour College Game Day at 8 a.m. PST. After a full day of college basketball it's College Game Day from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. PST leading up to the Gonzaga-Stanford game. It's the first time College Game Day has been west of Kansas and the first time the show has come to a non-BCS campus.
There's plenty at stake for Gonzaga on Saturday - a No. 5 ranking, a quality RPI game which could aid the Bulldogs case for a high NCAA Tournament seed and the Bulldogs 35-game home court winning streak which leads the nation and is a Gonzaga school record. The Bulldogs moved to the top of the list earlier in the day last Saturday when Illinois was toppled by Penn State 66-65, the Illini having the game-winning buzzer-beater voided, when, following a review, the officials ruled the shot didn't get off in time. Gonzaga's game with Saint Mary's on Monday night also came under review with less than a second remaining when Gonzaga's Sean Mallon was fouled. The officials ruled time had not expired, put .3 seconds back on the clock, Mallon missed the first free throw and made the second for the 62-61 victory for the record-setting 35th straight home win. The Bulldogs current streak began Feb. 22, 2003, with a 69-60 win over Tulsa in the inaugural Bracket Buster presented by ESPN.
Stanford's trek onto the Gonzaga campus marks he first time a non-Pacific Northwest Pacific-10 Conference school has played the Bulldogs on their true home court. The University of Southern California is the only Pac-10 school south of Oregon to have ventured into Spokane for a meeting with Gonzaga, the Trojans facing the Bulldogs in the old Spokane Coliseum in 1992 with the George Raveling coached squad taking a 77-60 victory. USC also won 77-59 when the Bulldogs made a return trip to the Los Angeles Sports Arena the following season. Oregon is the only one of the four Pacific Northwest members of the Pac-10 to have never played Gonzaga in Spokane.
Gonzaga remained fifth in both the USA TODAY/ESPN and Associated Press polls for a second straight week this week.
The scoring race is heating up between Gonzaga's Adam Morrison and Duke's J.J. Redick. While the two are technically tied at 28.4 ppg through Tuesday's games, Redick took a slight lead at 28.434 to Morrison's 28.363 if the averages were carried out instead of rounded off. Gonzaga's Derek Raivio is still the nation's top free throw shooter at 96.4 percent through Tuesday's games. Raivio is 53-for-55 from the line.
Gonzaga and Stanford will be meeting for the fifth time in the series that is tied 2-2. Gonzaga shocked the Cardinal 80-76 on the then-floating floor of Maples Pavilion in the 1994 NIT first round. The next time the teams met was 1999 when the 10th-seeded Bulldogs again pulled the upset with an 82-74 NCAA Tournament Second Round victory over No. 2 seed Stanford at Seattle's KeyArena. The Cardinal had been a 1998 Final Four team, and the win over Stanford would help carry the Bulldogs to the '99 Elite Eight. The last two meetings between the Bulldogs and the Cardinal have been at the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland, Calif., the Cardinal taking the 2003 meeting 81-71 and the 2004 contest 87-80.
Since missing his first free throw of the game New Year's Eve against Saint Joseph's, Derek Raivio has made 26 straight. Raivio had a streak of 28 straight snapped Dec. 17 against Virginia. He tied the school record a year ago with 41 consecutive free throws. Raivio is a career 91.7 percent career free throw shooter, connecting on 165-of-180 attempts, to sit atop the Gonzaga career percentage chart.
Gonzaga's 10-game winning streak marks the sixth time in the last seven years the Bulldogs have put together at least a 10-game streak. Gonzaga won 11 straight during the 2000 season, had a 14-game streak in 2001, put together 14 and 12-game winning streaks in 2002, strung together a school-record 21-game winning streak in 2004 and had a 13-game streak last season. In 2003 the Bulldogs came close, winning nine straight mid-way through the season.
There might be a little added incentive for Gonzaga in Saturday's game against Stanford and second-year head coach Trent Johnson. The Bulldogs might still have a little aftertaste left from the first time they met a Johnson-coached squad. Prior to taking the Stanford job Johnson guided Nevada to the 2004 NCAA Tournament where the 10th-seeded Wolf Pack upset the second-seeded Bulldogs 91-72 at Seattle's KeyArena, snapping Gonzaga's school-record 21-game winning streak. Four current Bulldogs played in that 2004 tourney game - Adam Morrison, Derek Raivio, Sean Mallon and Erroll Knight.
After leading the NCAA Division I ranks for much of the season, Gonzaga has slipped to second in free throw shooting. The Bulldogs are connecting at 78.8 percent from the line to trail Saint Joseph's by the slimmest of margins, the Hawks at 78.9 percent. After shooting 70.0 percent or better from the stripe in 18 of the first 19 games, the Bulldogs are shooting 67.1 percent over the last three games (57-for-85, including a season-low 63.9 percent against Portland (23-for-36). Gonzaga has had 10 games this season of 20 or more free throws made. The Bulldogs went 27-for-28 for 96.4 percent against Michigan State for the second-best percentage in school history, and 25-for-26 at Saint Mary's for 96.2 percent and the third best single-game percentage in school history. Gonzaga went 20-for-20 against Eastern Washington on Dec. 11, 1993, for the school record. The Gonzaga single-season record is 79.0 percent set by the 1989 squad.
Over the last 11 games, Gonzaga senior J.P. Batista is averaging a double-double with 19.6 ppg and 10.3 rpg. He has 13 career double-doubles, nine of them this season.
Junior Sean Mallon has scored in double-digits each of the last three games, including a season-high 15 points in last Saturday's win over Santa Clara. He has sandwiched the 15-point performance between 10-point nights against Portland and this past Monday against Saint Mary's, the 10th point against the Gaels the free throw that gave the Bulldogs their 62-61 win.
No decision had been made as of mid-week as to whether redshirt freshman Josh Heytvelt will see action against Stanford. Heytvelt suffered a broken ankle against Connecticut on Nov. 23, had surgery on Nov. 28 and has been on a rigorous rehabilitation the past few weeks since getting out of his walking boot. He will continue to be evaluated as game day approaches.
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.
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