LMU, Pepperdine Games End Men's Home Season
Feb. 12, 2002
Game No. 26 - Loyola Marymount Lions
Thursday, Feb. 14 - 7 p.m. PST
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. PST
TV: PAX (Spokane UHF Channel 34, AT&T Broadband Cable Channel 8)
No. 8 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (22-3, 9-1 West Coast Conference)
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY LIONS (9-15, 2-8 West Coast Conference)
The Kennel - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. PST
PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY WAVES (17-6, 10-0 West Coast Conference)
DICKAU NAISMITH FINALIST: Gonzaga University senior guard Dan Dickau is one of 20 finalists named Tuesday for the 34th annual Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award. The Naismith Awards program honors the outstanding college basketball player in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of excellence of student-athletes in basketball. This year's winner will be announced April 5 in Atlanta. For a complete list of finalists visit the Gonzaga web site at http://www.gozags.com.
BULLDOGS 8TH IN BOTH POLLS: The pollsters agreed on one thing this week as both the Associated Press and USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 ranked Gonzaga University eighth. It's the highest ranking ever by the Bulldogs, who moved up one notch in the AP balloting and two spots in the USA TODAY/ESPN vote of coaches. It's the 10th straight week for the Bulldogs in the AP rankings since cracking the list Dec. 12 at No. 25, the longest consecutive run by the Bulldogs in school history. Gonzaga had a 7-week appearance from Nov. 8-Dec. 12, 1999. Gonzaga is in the USA TODAY/ESPN poll for the ninth straight week, entering the poll 24th on Dec. 16.
DON'T LOOK AHEAD: All of the talk this week, naturally, is on Gonzaga University's Saturday re-match with Pepperdine University. All the talk, that is, except for around the Bulldog basketball program. "We can't overlook Thursday's game," senior guard Dan Dickau said. "This team has done a good job of focusing on the next game, and this week is no different. I know we want another shot at Pepperdine, but we have to take care of business against Loyola Marymount first." The Bulldogs play their final two home games of the season Thursday when Loyola Marymount University visits and Saturday when Pepperdine comes to town is what many soothsayers believe will decide the West Coast Conference regular-season title. Pepperdine is 10-0 in league play, Gonzaga 9-1 with the setback to the Waves 88-79 on Jan. 18.
NATIONAL TELEVISION AUDIENCE: Saturday's Gonzaga University-Pepperdine University game will be nationally televised on ESPN2. It will be the inaugural national telecast from The Kennel. Air time is 7 p.m. PST.
VIOLETTE TABBED: Sophomore center Cory Violette, who scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in Gonzaga University's win at the University of San Diego, has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week. Violette, whose previous best was 18 points earlier this season at the University of Washington, went 10-for-18 from the field against the Toreros. He began the week with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocked shots at Santa Clara University. He went 15-of-24 from the field in the two games for 62.5 percent. The double-double at USD was the seventh of his career.
DISHING IT OUT: Blake Stepp, who matched his career high with 10 assists earlier thisyear in Gonzaga University's home victory over the University of Portland, has 28 assists in his last four games for a 7.0 average. Following the 10 against Portland he had six at Portland, 8 at Santa Clara University (7 of them in the first half) and 4 at San Diego. For the season he's averaging 4.1 assists/game.
BEST START EVER: With a 22-3 record this season, Gonzaga University is off to its best start since joining the NCAA Division I ranks for the 1958-59 season. The 1966-67 campaign saw the Bulldogs start 14-2 prior to dropping three straight and ending the season 19-6. The 1998-99 squad was 20-5 after 25 games.
TIEBREAKER: Should Gonzaga University and Pepperdine University split their season series and both finish 13-1 in the West Coast Conference, the two would be declared regular-season co-champions. The top seed for WCC Tournament purposes would then be decided by a coin flip as the teams would still be tied after all other tiebreakers had been exhausted.
POUNDING THE BOARDS: Gonzaga University is sixth in the NCAA statistics for rebounding margin this week, the Bulldogs with a +8.7 margin. The Bulldogs, who led the category for much of the season, were third last week. Dayton University and Louisiana Tech are knotted for the top spot at +9.4. The University of Wyoming (+9.3), Stanford University (+9.2) and Michigan State University (+9.1) are ahead of the Bulldogs. Santa Clara University out rebounded Gonzaga 32-25 last week, just the seventh time in 25 games the Bulldogs have been out rebounded - 30-29 at home against Saint Mary's College, 47-33 at Pepperdine University (the only time Gonzaga has been out rebounded by double digits), 41-33 at home against Santa Clara University, 31-26 against Marquette University in the title game of the Great Alaska Shootout, 39-36 at home against Washington State University and 35-31 at Saint Joseph's University the others. Gonzaga has held the edge in 18 of 25 outings and has grabbed 50 or more rebounds four times this season - 53 at home against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 50 at the University of Washington, 51 at home against Eastern Oregon University and 53 against Monmouth University. Cory Violette's career-high 20 rebounds against Fresno State University is tied for the 11th highest single-game total this season in NCAA Division I ranks.
DICKAU CRACKS TOP 10 ASSISTS LIST: Senior point guard Dan Dickau is 10th on the Gonzaga University career assists Top 10 list with 271 assists, moving ahead of Ken Tyler who held the 10th spot with 255 from 1974-75. Dickau needs 10 to move past Tim Wagoner (280 from 1979-82) and into ninth. Matt Santangelo (1997-00) heads the list with 668, surpassing the longtime record of 554 held by John Stockton (1981-84).
CLOSING IN ON 1,000: Senior guard Dan Dickau (948) and junior forward Zach Gourde(906) are closing in on 1,000 career points at Gonzaga University. Counting his two seasons at the University of Washington, Dickau has 1,113 career points.
BULLDOGS VS. WAVES: Pepperdine leads the overall series 31-20, but the Bulldogs have closed the gap in recent years, winning 14 of the last 19 in the last eight seasons. The Bulldogs swept last year's series 93-79 in Malibu and 82-69 in Spokane. The teams have finished 1-2 in the WCC regular season each of the past three seasons, Gonzaga claiming the crown in 2001 and 1999.
BULLDOGS VS. LIONS: Bill Clinton was just beginning his second term in office the last time Gonzaga University lost to Loyola Marymount. The Bulldogs lead the overall series 37-18, including 13 straight wins. The last time the Lions prevailed was Feb. 2, 1996, in Gersten Pavilion 83-69. Gonzaga has won 19 of the last 21 meetings with LMU dating back to the 1993 campaign and 10 straight in The Kennel.
ELITE COMPANY: Gonzaga University is one of just three schools to advance to the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Michigan State University and Duke University are the other two. Duke and MSU appeared in their fourth straight Sweet Sixteen in 2001. Since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there have been 18 occasions where teams have had runs of three years or more into the Sweet Sixteen. The University of North Carolina leads the way with a 9-year stretch from 1985-93, followed by Duke with a 7-year run from 1986-92.
BULLDOGS AND 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 10 seasons the Bulldogs are 126-9 at home for a nifty 93.3 winning percentage. The Bulldogs went 12-0 at home in 2001, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. The Bulldogs are 39-1 in The Kennel over the past four seasons with this year's 11-0 start. The 2000 squad was 10-1, and the 1999 Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel, 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. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the country's second-longest active streak. Gonzaga currently has a 24-game home winning streak dating back to the last home game of the 1999-00 campaign, the current streak ranking tied for second with Tennessee Tech. Brigham Young University moved into the top spot with 32 after Detroit had its 39-game ended Monday with a 65-61 setback to Wisconsin-Green Bay.
DICKAU ON WOODEN AWARD TOP 30 LIST: Point Guard Dan Dickau is the third straight Gonzaga University representative on the John R. Wood Award Midseason Top 30 candidates announced Dec. 28 for the 2001-02 Wooden Award All-America Team. Casey Calvary, a Wooden All-America pick last season, and Matt Santangelo in 2000 were the previous Bulldogs on the list. Dickau was on The Wooden Award Top 50 announced this past summer. On March 26, 2002, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Sunday, April 7, 2002, as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year."
FEW'S TWO-YEAR RUN: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few probably never thought life as a head coach would be so "sweet." But in his first two seasons as head coach the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, one of only two NCAA Division I head coaches to accomplish that feat since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Gonzaga, defending national champion Duke University and 2000 national champion Michigan State University are the only three schools to reach the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Few was an assistant coach on Gonzaga's run to the 1999 Elite Eight. Few's 2-year record of 52-16 places him among elite company for second-year head coaches. His 2-year total of 52 wins has him tied for third for second-year coaches with Dan Monson, his predecessor at Gonzaga, and Ben Carnevale of the University of North Carolina (1945-46). His 74 wins in his three seasons (74-19) currently rank tied for fourth for third-year coaches with Jim Boheim of Syracuse University (74-14 from 1977-79).
BULLDOGS HIT 20 WINS AGAIN: Gonzaga University (22-3) has hit the 20-win plateau this season the quickest in school history. The Bulldogs have now won 20 or more games in each of the past five seasons and in eight of the last nine campaigns. The Bulldogs went 26-7 record last season, matching the 2000 win total and second all-time behind only the 1999 school record mark of 28-7. This season is the sixth time the Bulldogs have 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, the 2000 squad was 21-8 heading into the WCC Tournament and last year's team was 21-6 entering the WCC fray. 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.
O-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. 27, 1993, a 71-53 Gonzaga victory. Gonzaga has made a 3-point field goal in 290 straight games. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.
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