Bulldogs Seek To Clinch Title

Feb. 16, 2005

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 24 - San Diego
Thurs., Feb. 17 - 6 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ (Spokane); KONG (Seattle)
No. 13 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (19-4; 9-2 West Coast Conference)
G -   5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 168, So., Vancouver, WA
       (13.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.0 assists, 1.7 steals)
G - 22 Erroll Knight, 6-7, 211, Jr., Seattle, WA
       (7.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals)
C -   1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 249, Sr., Le Robert, Martinique
       (16.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.8 blocks)
F -    3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, So., Spokane, WA
       (18.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F -  13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Jr., Pernambuco, Brazil
       (11.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  152-36 (6th year - 16th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO TOREROS (13-10; 5-5 West Coast Conference) G - 14 Ross DeRogatis, 6-1, 185, So., Mansfield, TX (6.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.1 assists, 0.8 steals) G - 32 Corey Belser, 6-6, 210, Jr., Spanaway, WA (6.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.8 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.4 blocks) C - 12 Brice Vounang, 6-8, 250, Sr., Dschang, Cameroon (16.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 5 Brandon Gay, 6-8, 220, Sr., Missouri City, TX (16.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals 0.6 blocks) F - 42 Nick Lewis, 6-10, 235, Jr., Paradise Valley, AZ (12.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.6 blocks) HEAD COACH: Brad Holland (UCLA, 1979) USD RECORD: 161-147 (11th year) CAREER RECORD: 184-178 (13th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 25 - San Francisco
Sat., Feb. 19 - 3 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ABC-TV (Regional - Check Local Listings)
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO DONS (13-10; 4-6 West Coast Conference)
G -   5 Jason Gaines, 6-1, 177, Sr., Antioch, CA
      (2.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals)
G - 33 John Cox, 6-5, 210, Sr., Philadelphia, PA
      (20.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals)
F -   3 Tyrone Riley, 6-7, 240, Jr., Los Angeles, CA
      (14.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F - 21 Jerome Gumbs, 6-4, 210, Jr., St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
      (9.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.0 assists, 1.3 steals)
F -  25 Alan Wiggins, Jr., 6-9, 220, So., Poway, CA
      (6.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 assists, 1.1 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Jessie Evans (Eastern Michigan, 1972)
USF RECORD:  13-10 (1st year)  CAREER RECORD:  145-91 (8th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 2/17 at Portland.

The "magic number" is three - any combination of three Gonzaga wins or three Saint Mary's losses - for the Bulldogs to clinch their fifth straight West Coast Conference regular-season title, and its ninth since 1994. And the Bulldogs will get a chance to do it at home. The Bulldogs host the University of San Diego at 6 p.m. Thursday and the University of San Francisco at 3 p.m. Saturday, a pair of wins giving the Bulldogs no worse than a share of the WCC regular-season title. A pair of Gonzaga (9-2) wins and a Saint Mary's (7-3) loss would give the crown outright to Gonzaga since the Bulldogs have just one WCC game remaining at Portland following this week's homestand and they would be two games up in the loss column with two victories and a SMC loss.

Gonzaga recorded its first road sweep of the year last week when the Bulldogs downed Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. The Bulldogs defeated Oklahoma State on Dec. 28 but lost at Missouri on Dec. 30, defeated Santa Clara on Jan. 6 but lost at Saint Mary's two night's later, and lost at San Francisco Jan. 20 prior to salvaging the split Jan. 22 at San Diego in their three true two-game road trips prior to the Los Angeles swing.

Gonzaga University senior Ronny Turiaf has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for his efforts in the Bulldogs road sweep of Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. He recorded his 21st and 22nd career double-doubles with 20 points and 12 rebounds at Pepperdine and 20 points and 11 rebounds at LMU. The product of Le Robert, Martinique, also shot 68.4 percent from the field (13-for-19) and had 10 blocks, including six at LMU to equal his career high set against the Lions on Feb. 8, 2003. He averaged 20.0 ppg and 11.5 rpg for the week. He also became Gonzaga's all-time free throws made leader with 604, breaking the record of 596 held by Frank Burgess.

In both games last week Gonzaga had two players record double-doubles. Ronny Turiaf had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Erroll Knight 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds at Pepperdine, Knight collecting his first career double-double. At Loyola Marymount Turiaf had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Adam Morrison 16 points and 12 rebounds, the latter recording his third career double-double. Earlier this season Turiaf had 40 points and 11 rebounds against Idaho, while Sean Mallon had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Gonzaga continues to crash the boards of late. The Bulldogs held a season-high +25 rebounding edge at Pepperdine, surpassing the +23 the Bulldogs posted at San Diego. Gonzaga came back with a +20 at Loyola Marymount. Since being out-rebounded 45-35 in their loss at San Francisco, the Bulldogs have out-rebounded opponents 265-153 over the last six games. That's an average of 44.2 rpg by Gonzaga to just 25.5 by the opposition for a +18.7 margin. In the last five games the Bulldogs have held a +23 edge over San Diego, +20 over Portland, +8 against Saint Mary's, +16 over Santa Clara, +25 against Pepperdine and +20 at LMU. For the season Gonzaga has a +8.4 rebounding margin to rank sixth nationally through games of Monday.

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few is the only NCAA Division I head coach with a minimum of five years head coaching experience who has a career winning percentage of 80.0 percent or better. Few is 152-36 in his sixth year on the Gonzaga bench for a winning percentage of 80.9. He was in the company of North Carolina's Roy Williams heading into last week, but the Tar Heels split a pair of games to drop Williams from 80.0 percent to 79.9 percent with a career record of 457-115.

Gonzaga jumped one spot to 13th in the Associated Press Top 25 this week, and climbed one spot to a season-high 16th in the USA TODAY/ESPN balloting.

Gonzaga senior Ronny Turiaf is a John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy Mid-Season Top 30 selection. It marks the sixth time in the last seven years the Bulldogs have had a Mid-Season Top 30 candidate, including Turiaf last season. The Top 10 Wooden All-America Team will be announced on March 29, and the Top Five All-Americans will gather April 9 in Los Angeles where one will receive the Wooden Award Trophy as the most outstanding collegiate basketball player of the year. Dan Dickau was Gonzaga's only Top 5 All-American in 2002, while Casey Calvary was Gonzaga's inaugural Top 10 All-American in 2001. Blake Stepp was a Top 10 selection last season for the Bulldogs. Turiaf was also a finalist for the Naismith Trophy last season. The Naismith is presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Four finalists will be announced in March, with the trophy presentation in April.

Ronny Turiaf has grabbed 81 rebounds in the last eight games for an average of 10.1 rpg. In those eight games he has five double-digit games - 10 each against Pepperdine and at San Francisco, 13 at San Diego, 12 at Pepperdine and 11 at Loyola Marymount. Turiaf has nine double-digit rebounding games this season and 25 in his career. For the season he's averaging 9.1 rpg to rank 31st nationally.

Gonzaga has held six of its last nine opponents under 40.0 percent from the field, including the 34.8 percent by Loyola Marymount last week. For the season, Gonzaga has held 10 opponents under 40.0 percent from the field. 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 41.6 percent from the field against the Bulldogs this season. From 3-point range Loyola Marymount shot a season-low 15.8 percent (3-for-19) in the first meeting and 21.7 percent (5-for-23) last week, while San Diego was 3-for-16 for 18.8 percent. Teams are shooting 36.0 percent from 3-point range against the Bulldogs.

After going just 3-for-12 and scoring a combined eight points in his previous four games, junior Erroll Knight put together double-digit scoring nights last week in Los Angeles. He scored 14 points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds in posting his first career double-double at Pepperdine, then scored 10 points and had five rebounds at Loyola Marymount. For the week he went 8-for-18 from the field.

True freshman David Pendergraft made the most of his minutes last Saturday at Loyola Marymount, scoring 8 points and hauling in a career-high 9 rebounds in just 18 minutes to give Gonzaga a boost off the bench. His first-half production against the Lions was even more amazing, scoring 6 points and grabbing 7 rebounds in just 9 minutes.

Sophomore Sean Mallon, like David Pendergraft in the above note, was also productive in the first half against Loyola Marymount. He grabbed all 6 of his rebounds in the game in the first half while playing 8 minutes.

Adam Morrison and J.P. Batista are the only Gonzaga players to make a field goal in every game they've played this year. Morrison has a field goal in all 23 games and has a streak of 41 straight since going 0-for-3 at Pepperdine on Feb. 8, 2004. Batista is working on a streak of 21 straight. Sean Mallon was in that elite company until going 0-for-2 last Saturday at Loyola Marymount, snapping his streak at 22 games this season and 24 games over the past two seasons.

BULLDOGS VS. TOREROS: Gonzaga University has won 12 of the last 13 meetings with the University of San Diego and 14 of the last 16, including the first meeting this year in San Diego 68-56. The Bulldogs last lost to the Toreros in the championship game of the 2003 West Coast Conference Tournament on USD's home court 72-63. Gonzaga has won four straight in Spokane against the Toreros, who will be making their first appearance in the new McCarthey Athletic Center. USD last won in Spokane in 2000, taking an 82-70 win in the old Kennel.

BURGESS NO. 44 JERSEY TO BE RETIRED: Frank Burgess, Gonzaga University's all-time leading scorer with 2,196 points from 1959-61, will have his No. 44 jersey retired at halftime ceremonies of Saturday's game against the University of San Francisco. Burgess averaged 32.4 ppg in the 1960-61 season to lead the NCAA Division I ranks, a mark that still stands as Gonzaga's single-season record. He averaged 28.9 ppg in 1959-60 and 23.2 ppg in 1958-59. He also scored 40 or more points a school record seven times and still holds the single-game mark with 52 against UC Davis on Jan. 26, 1961. The lifetime United States District Judge for the Western District of Washington as appointed by President Clinton in 1994, Burgess was a two-time Helms Foundation All-American and was a second team Associated Press and United Press International selection as a senior.

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 74 games since that Saint Joseph's loss without losing back-to-back games.

BULLDOGS WHEN RANKED: Gonzaga is 80-15 when ranked, including 17-4 this season. The Bulldogs are 34-0 at home when ranked, 31-6 away and 15-9 on a neutral court.

TURIAF IN RARE COMPANY: With 1,612 career points and 774 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.

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 22-game home winning streak that is tied for third in the NCAA Division I ranks through games of Monday. Oklahoma State University leads the way with a 27-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 384. 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.

 

 

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