Bulldogs Host Gaels Thursday In WCC Battle For First

Feb. 10, 2010

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 24 - Saint Mary's College
Thursday, February 11 - 8 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WA
Radio: Sports Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 101.1 KEYF-FM (Spokane)
Network pre-game show 60 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2
No. 16/11 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (19-4; 7-1 West Coast)
G -   3 Demetri Goodson, 5-11, 164, So., Spring, TX
       (6.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Sr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (16.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 assists, 1.7 steals)
G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-5, 208, Jr., Bainbridge, WA
       (13.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.4 blocks)
C - 00 Robert Sacre, 7-0, 247, So., North Vancouver, B.C.
       (10.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.6 blocks)
F -  20 Elias Harris, 6-8, 215, Fr., Speyer, Germany
       (15.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  283-70 (11th year - 21st at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (21-3; 8-1 West Coast) G - 4 Matthew Dellavedova, 6-4, 185, Fr., Maryborough, Victoria (12.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.8 assists, 1.3 steals) G - 32 Mickey McDonnell, 6-0, 175, Jr., Mesa, AZ (13.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 5.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.3 blocks) C - 50 Omar Samhan, 6-11, 265, Sr., San Ramon, CA (21.7 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 3.0 blocks) F - 11 Clint Steindl, 6-7, 180, So., Mackay, Australia (7.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals) F - 21 Ben Allen, 6-11, 250, Sr., Melbourne, Australia (10.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks) HEAD COACH: Randy Bennett (UC San Diego, 1986) SMC RECORD: 176-100 (9th year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 25 - University of San Diego
Saturday, February 13 - 7 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WA
Radio: Sports Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 101.1 KEYF-FM (Spokane)
Network pre-game show 60 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPNU
UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO TOREROS (9-16; 2-7 West Coast)
G -   1 Brandon Johnson, 6-0, 200, Sr., Houston, TX
      (14.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.3 assists, 1.9 steals)
G -  20 Matt Dorr, 6-4, 196, Jr., Spokane, WA
      (6.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals)
G -     3 Devin Ginty, 6-2, 190, Jr., Alta, CA
       (2.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.3 steals)
C -   34 Chris Manresa, 6-8, 240, Fr., Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
       (5.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.3 steals, 0.7 blocks)
F -   12 Chris Lewis, 6-7, 215, Sr., Bedford, TX
       (7.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990)
USD RECORD:  47-46 (3rd year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same.
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  2/11 at Portland.
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today.

Gonzaga University men's basketball can be heard on Sports Radio 1510 KGA and KEYF-FM 101.1. The network pre-game show begins one hour prior to tipoff. Tom Hudson returns for his eighth season behind the microphone calling the action and former Bulldog Richard Fox is back alongside Hudson as the analyst for the third season. An expanded 45-minute post-game show also follows every game. Gonzaga's radio rights are owned by IMG, the multi-media rights partner for Gonzaga University athletics, which reached a 9-year agreement with Radio Spokane to air Bulldog basketball.

KHQ-TV in Spokane and FSN will once again televise every Gonzaga University game not televised by another entity. In all, 14 regular-season games will be aired locally. Greg Heister returns for his ninth season behind the microphone as the television voice of the Bulldogs. Craig Ehlo begins his fourth season as the color commentator next to Heister. IMG, the multi-media rights partner for Gonzaga University athletics, announced a 10-year extension with KHQ-TV and FSN Northwest for broadcast of Gonzaga men's basketball and other events programming through the 2017-18 season.

The Mark Few TV Show will air every Sunday following NFL football on KHQ-TV, and every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on FSN. Greg Heister will host. The Mark Few Radio Show will air Monday from noon-1 p.m. on Sports Radio 1510 KGA unless the Bulldogs are traveling or have a game. The "GU Coaches Show" hosted by Tom Hudson will also air on 1510 KGA every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m.

Matt Bouldin scored 19 points and Gonzaga pulled away at the end for a 66-58 victory over Memphis on Saturday. Robert Sacre added 13 points and Steven Gray finished with 12, despite shooting 4 of 12 from the field for Gonzaga. Gray had seven rebounds. Gonzaga led 58-57 after Will Coleman, who had nine points and eight rebounds, scored inside with 1:35 left. But Sacre scored inside and Bouldin hit two free throws to give the Bulldogs enough breathing room for their 11th win in the last 12. The Bulldogs also had to do it with a short turnaround following Thursday's important West Coast Conference win at home against Portland. Neither team shot well. Gonzaga converted 41.1 percent (23 of 56), while Memphis managed to shoot 39.6 percent (19 of 48). Gonzaga held a 36-31 advantage on the boards, including 13 on the offensive glass. Gonzaga went on a 9-0 run to take a 28-23 halftime lead. Bouldin was 3 of 6 in the half for eight points, but the Bulldogs shot 37 percent (10 of 27), while Memphis was 8 of 22 (36.4 percent). The Tigers were hampered by nine turnovers to go with their poor shooting. Memphis' 9-0 run allowed it to take a 53-51 lead with 4:48 left on a layup by Kemp. From there, the teams exchanged leads until Gonzaga extended a 58-57 lead by closing the game on an 8-1 run, all 8 Bulldog points coming at the free throw line. Bouldin converted four and Demetri Goodson and Gray made two each.

First place in the West Coast Conference is on the line Thursday when league-leading Saint Mary's College (8-1) visits the McCarthey Athletic Center to face 7-1 Gonzaga University. A Gonzaga win would put the Bulldogs in the driver's seat heading into the final two weeks of the regular season. A victory would give the Zags the season-series against Saint Mary's and the University of Portland and the advantage in any tiebreaker scenario for WCC Tournament seeding. It would also as maintain at least a four-game edge for the Bulldogs in the loss column over the remaining five teams. The Bulldogs are bidding for a 10th straight WCC regular-season title.

Gonzaga University has won five straight games against Saint Mary's College, including sweep three meetings last year that included the championship game of the West Coast Conference Tournament. From 1999-2004 the Bulldogs won 17 straight games against the Gaels, and since 1999 Gonzaga has taken 27-of-30 contests including this year's first meeting in Moraga by an 89-82 count. The Gaels last won in 2008, taking an 89-85 overtime decision on their home court. The Bulldogs haven't lost to the Gaels in Spokane since 1995 when SMC took a 68-63 verdict. Gonzaga has won the last fourteen meetings in Spokane since the Gaels prevailed 68-63 in 1995. Gonzaga leads the overall series 50-23.

Gonzaga University and Saint Mary's College have both been on a roll lately. Since losing to Duke University Dec. 19 the Bulldogs have rattled off wins in 11 of their last 12 games. The Gaels have also won 11-of-12 since suffering a loss to USC in Honolulu Dec. 23, the only setback for SMC in that stretch the home loss to Gonzaga in the first WCC meeting between the teams this year.

Gonzaga University senior guard Matt Bouldin moved into 10th on the all-time scoring list with his 20 points University against the University of Portland Feb. 4. Bouldin now has 1,537 points, 11 shy of passing Jerry Vermillion for ninth. At his current average of 16.7 ppg, Bouldin would finish the regular season with 1,654 points that would rank seventh on the GU charts. Depending on how far the Bulldogs go in the post-season Bouldin could challenge Ronny Turiaf for fifth place all-time, the current member of the Los Angeles Lakers with 1,723 points from 2002-05.

Beginning with Thursday's meeting with Saint Mary's College, Gonzaga University will play four of its final six West Coast Conference games at home. The Bulldogs host the University of San Diego Saturday at 7 p.m., head to Los Angeles next week to face Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University, then conclude WCC regular-season play at home against the University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University. The Bulldogs end the regular season with a home non-conference tilt against Cal State Bakersfield March 2.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few moved into second place on the school's all-time winningest coaches list with the Bulldogs victory Feb. 5, 2009, at the University of Portland. Few, in his 11th season, is now 283-70 and moved ahead of Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 years). Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) is the all-time leader. He picked up his 275th win Jan. 2, 2010, against the University of Illinois at the United Center in Chicago. Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 134-14, moving ahead of Fitzgerald (112-88) on the all-time wins list. Few also moved ahead of Dick Davey of Santa Clara University (122-88) for second with Gonzaga's victory at the University of San Francisco Feb. 14, 2009. Carroll Williams, SCU (165-137) holds the top spot.

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 70-4 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. Gonzaga suffered its first loss at home this season Dec. 5 when Wake Forest University escaped with a 77-75 decision. Gonzaga's other losses were during the 2008 season to Washington State University and last year to Portland State University.

Canadians dot the 2010 Gonzaga University roster - four of them to be exact. Three of them come to the Bulldogs from the province of British Columbia to the north of Spokane. Redshirt sophomore center Robert Sacre is from North Vancouver, B.C., freshman forward Kelly Olynyk hails from Kamloops, B.C., and redshirt sophomore forward Bol Kong is from Vancouver, B.C. Mangisto "Manny" Arop is from Edmonton, Alberta, but spent the past few years in Hamilton, Ontario, while playing with NEDA, Basketball Canada's National Elite Development Academy.

Don't forget the Texans as sophomore guard Demetri Goodson and freshman guard G.J. Vilarino hail from the Lone Star State. But in a state where everything is big, these two Gonzaga University Bulldogs might prove that good things do come in small packages. Goodson, from Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, stretches the tape measure to 5-11. Vilarino, from McKinney, Texas, located almost due north of Dallas, stands 6-0.

The West Coast Conference coaches have tabbed Gonzaga University to win its 10th straight WCC regular-season title. The Bulldogs earned six first-place votes and 48 points to edge the University of Portland with the other two first-place votes and 44 points. Saint Mary's College was third with 34 points.

The nine straight West Coast Conference regular-season titles by Gonzaga University marks the longest current streak in the nation and ranks tied for fourth all-time in the NCAA Division I ranks, the Bulldogs knotting the University of Kentucky. The Wildcats won nine straight SEC crowns from 1944-52. UCLA's 13 Pacific-10 Conference titles from 1967-79 head the list.

Gonzaga University moved to the cusp of the Top 10 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 this week and moved up one spot to 16th in the Associated Press Top 25. The Bulldogs, who were in the ESPN/USA Today Top 10 for two weeks this season, jumped two spots to 11th this week. The University of Kansas maintained the top spot for a second straight week after moving back into No. 1 last week. Duke University, which defeated Gonzaga in December at Madison Square Garden, jumped two spots to 8th in the AP rankings and 7th in ESPN/USA Today. Michigan State University, a 75-71 winner over Gonzaga in East Lansing in the second game of the season, fell from 5th to 10th in both polls. The University of Wisconsin, which lost to Gonzaga in the EA Sports Maui Invitational semifinals, moved up five spots to 11th in AP and three spots to 13th in the ESPN/USA Today poll. The Bulldogs have been in the ranked in at least one poll for 10 straight weeks.

Gonzaga University has extended its string of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 549. The last time the Bulldogs didn't connect from three was Jan. 27, 1993, when they went 0-for-5 at the University of Portland. UNLV holds the all-time record with 738 that started Nov. 26, 1986, through the start of the current season.

After a stretch where Gonzaga University shot 50.0 percent or better from the field in 7-of-8 games the Bulldogs have hit just 50.0 percent once in the last four games, a 29-for-58 effort against the University of Portland. Gonzaga has also cooled off from 3-point range over the last six games, despite a 7-for-17 effort against the University of Memphis for 41.2 percent last Saturday. In the last six games the Bulldogs are 30-for-92 from 3-point range for 32.6 percent. Gonzaga is shooting 36.1 percent from long range for the season.

Since committing a season-high 21 turnovers in the 35-point loss to Duke University in December, Gonzaga University has taken better care of the basketball over the last nine games. The Bulldogs are averaging 12.5 turnovers per game in that stretch that began with a season-low 7 turnovers at the University of Portland to begin West Coast Conference play.

Gonzaga University has won the battle of the boards in all but four games this season, including the last 12 games since being out rebounded by 10 in the loss to Duke University. Gonzaga began the current streak with a +21 night against Eastern Washington University. The Bulldogs are +5.9 overall on the boards this season and an even +8.0 in West Coast Conference play.

Since suffering three straight losses early last season, Gonzaga University has gone 39-6. Gonzaga lost to the University of Connecticut in the Battle in Seattle, lost at home to Portland State University and fell at the University of Utah for just the third three-game losing streak in head coach Mark Few's tenure. The Zags then won 20 of their final 22 games last season and are off to an 18-4 start this season.

Senior Matt Bouldin has played 40 or more minutes in nine games this season including overtimes contests, while Steven Gray and Elias Harris each have two games of 40 or more minutes and Robert Sacre has one. Bouldin's overtime efforts have been 42-of-45 minutes against the University of Cincinnati, 44-of-45 minutes against the University of Illinois and 41-of-45 minutes against the University of San Francisco. Gray played 43-of-45 minutes against Cincinnati and all 45 minutes against USF; Harris played 40-of-45 minutes against Cincinnati and 41-of-45 against USF, and Sacre played 40-of-45 minutes against Illinois.

Senior center Will Foster recorded career scoring highs in back-to-back games last week. He began with 6 points against the University of Portland then poured in 8 points in the win at the University of Memphis. Foster is 6-for-9 from the field in the two games including 4-for-5 at Memphis. At 7-5 he is the tallest player ever in Gonzaga University basketball history, surpassing the 7-3 Jean Claude Lefebvre.

Sophomore guard Demetri Goodson did not take a shot against Santa Clara University, but in his last three games he is 10-for-14 from the field for 71.4 percent. He's scored 27 points in those three contests after going scoreless at SCU.

Steven Gray is just 8-for-31 from the field for 25.8 percent over the last three games after going 35-for-65 for 54.8 percent in the five games prior to his mini-slump.

 

 

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