Bulldogs Can Wrap Up WCC Crown

Feb. 16, 2006

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 25 - Loyola Marymount
Sat., Feb. 18 - 3 p.m. PST
Gersten Pavilion - Los Angeles, CA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ABC-TV (Regional - Check local listings
No. 5 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (21-3; 10-0 West Coast)
G -   5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 175, Jr., Vancouver, WA
       (11.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.6 steals)
G -   4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 181, So., Montreal, Quebec
       (4.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks)
C -  13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Sr., Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil
       (20.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.8 blocks)
F -    3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, Jr., Spokane, WA
       (28.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks)
F -  32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 218, Jr., Spokane, WA
       (7.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.4 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  180-40 (7th year - 17th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY LIONS (11-13; 8-2 West Coast) G - 0 Brandon Worthy, 6-2, 205, Jr., San Jose, CA (14.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.2 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.3 blocks) G - 13 Wes Wardrop, 6-3, 185, Sr., Anaheim, CA (14.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals) G - 23 Jon Ziri, 6-2, 200, So., Tempe, AZ (5.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals) C - 40 Chris Ayer, 6-10, 250, Sr., Tucson, AZ (9.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.3 blocks) F - 14 Matthew Knight, 6-8, 240, Jr., Burnie, Tasmania (16.6 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 0.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.7 blocks) HEAD COACH: Rodney Tention (San Francisco, 1988) LMU RECORD: 11-13 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 26 - Pepperdine
Mon., Feb. 20 - 9 p.m. PST
Firestone Fieldhouse - Malibu, CA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2 (Big Monday)
G -    1 Tashaan Forehan-Kelly, 6-4, 180, Sr., Irvine, CA
      (14.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.7 assists, 1.5 steals)
G -    3 Gregg Barlow, 6-3, 194, Jr., Las Vegas, NV
      (4.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals)
G -  23 Chase Griffin, 6-2, 180, Jr., Redmond, WA
      (5.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals)
C -  13 Derrick Grubb, 6-9, 255, Jr., Grapevine, TX
      (4.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.7 blocks)
F -  52 Chris Oakes, 6-9, 202, Fr., Oakland, CA
      (5.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.5 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Paul Westphal (USC, 1972)
PU RECORD:  76-67 (5th year)  CAREER RECORD:  160-94 (8th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 2/18 vs. Portland.

Only one team stands between Gonzaga and a sixth straight West Coast Conference regular-season title, and that team gets its chance to stay in the race when the Bulldogs visit Loyola Marymount University on Saturday. Game time is 3 p.m. at Gersten Pavilion in a game to be televised regionally by ABC. The Bulldogs are 10-0 in the WCC, LMU 8-2. A Gonzaga win would assure the Bulldogs no worse than a tie for the regular-season title with the Lions, and the Bulldogs would win the tiebreaker based on sweeping the season series. San Diego and San Francisco are the next closest teams with five losses each, but the Bulldogs only have four regular-season games remaining so LMU stands as the only pretender to put the bite on the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga's version of "Mr. Inside" and "Mr. Outside" continues to apply the 1-2 punch to the opposition. In the last two games the offensive stats of Adam Morrison and J.P. Batista were nearly identical. Morrison was 21-for-38 from the field for 55.3 percent, Batista 21-for-36 for 58.3 percent. Morrison was 17-for-19 from the free throw line for 89.5 percent, Batista 14-for-15 for 93.3 percent. Morrison scored 34 points against Stanford and 33 at Portland, Batista 24 against Portland and matched his career high with 32 at Portland. Morrison averaged 33.5 ppg, Batista 28.0 ppg for the two games.

While the Duke tandem of Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick are mentioned in the game breath as All-American, don't go mute on the Gonzaga duo of Adam Morrison and J.P. Batista. In the head-to-head matchup with Redick, the edge goes to Morrison in field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage. They are in a virtual tie for the NCAA Division I scoring lead, Redick at 28.9 ppg, Morrison at 28.8 ppg through games of Tuesday. Batista has the advantage over Williams in field goal percentage, free throw percentage and scoring. Here's a breakdown of the foursome...

Morrison 24/24  235-458 .513   53-119 .445 168-211 .796  691 28.8
Redick   25/25  226-445 .508   98-223 .439 172-195 .882  722 28.9

PLAYER GP/GS FG-FGA PCT 3FG-FGA PCT FT-FTA PCT PTS AVG Batista 24/24 177-295 .600 3-5 .600 124-148 .838 481 20.0 Williams 25/25 159-271 .587 2-5 .400 140-185 .757 460 18.4

J.P. Batista was named the West Coast Conference player of the week for his efforts (documented above). Against Stanford he kept the Bulldogs in the game until Adam Morrison took over down the stretch. Against Portland, the Brazilian Beast scored almost at will, scoring 14 first-half points on 6-for-12 from the field and 18 second-half points while going 5-7 from the field. He also notched his 14th career double-double as he added 10 rebounds against the Pilots.

Adam Morrison scored 13 of his 34 points in the final 3:41, including 11 straight and 13 of Gonzaga's last 14 points, to help the Bulldogs hold off Stanford 80-76 last Saturday night in an ESPN College Game Day showcase from the McCartney Athletic Center. Gonzaga led 66-64 when Morrison made 1-of-2 from the free throw line, then made a long 3-pointer to begin the 3-minute surge in which he outscored the entire Stanford team.

With its 21-3 record, Gonzaga has reached the 20-win plateau for the ninth straight season and for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons. The Bulldogs set a school record for wins with their 28-7 record in 1999 and tied it in 2004 with a 28-3 mark.

The scoring race continues to be heated between Gonzaga's Adam Morrison and Duke's J.J. Redick. Morrison put up 33 points Monday at Portland to up his average to 28.8 ppg and move into first. But Redick tossed in 33 Tuesday against Wake Forest to push his average to 28.9 ppg to re-take the lead.

When Derek Raivio missed a pair of free throws at Portland on Monday it marked the first time in nearly a year - and just the fourth time in his career - he's missed twice in a game from the charity stripe. He went 5-for-7 against Portland. He had a streak of 26 straight snapped last Saturday against Stanford when he went 1-for-2. Raivio went 8-for-10 from the line in the West Coast Conference Tournament title game last March 7; went 2-for-4 against Oklahoma State on Dec. 28, 2004, in a game played in Oklahoma City, and went 5-for-8 against Montana on Nov. 21, 2004. The Montana game is the only time in his career he has missed three free throws in a game. Raivio is still hitting 92.2 percent from the line on 59-for-64 this season, but he has dropped from first to fifth according to the latest NCAA Division I statistics released Tuesday. Blake Ahearn of Missouri State heads the list at 94.6 percent. Raivio is still a 90.5 percent career shooter from the line (171-for-189).

While Gonzaga's Adam Morrison and Duke's J.J. Redick have been running 1-2 in the scoring race most of the season, the Bulldogs are Blue Devils are now running 1-2 on the list for longest home court winning streak. Gonzaga continues to lead the NCAA Division I home court winning streak list with 36, and in the process extended its school-record with last Saturday's win over Stanford. With Wisconsin-Milwaukee falling to Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday, Duke moved into the No. 2 spot with 18 straight. Gonzaga's next home game is Feb. 25 against San Diego while Duke plays at home this Sunday against Miami (Fla.). Hofstra is now third with 17 straight. The Bulldogs current streak began Feb. 22, 2003, with a 69-60 win over Tulsa in the inaugural Bracket Buster presented by ESPN.

Gonzaga won the battle of the boards Monday against Portland 41-31 to snap a streak of three straight games where the Bulldogs got out rebounded. That marked the first time since the 2004 season the Bulldogs had been out rebounded in three straight games. Gonzaga won the 2002 NCAA rebound margin title at +8.9 and finished second in 2004 at +8.2. The Bulldogs have a rebound margin of +3.5 this season.

Adam Morrison's 33-point night against Portland was his 11th 30+ game of the season. He also has four 40+ games to his credit - a career high 43 against Michigan State and at Washington, 41 at San Francisco and 42 at home against Portland. He has scored in double digits in 28 straight games dating back to the final four games of last season.

J.P. Batista recorded his 14th game of 20 or more points Monday against Portland when he matched his career-high 32 points. It's the fourth straight game he's hit the 20-point plateau. In those four games he's gone 38-for-61 from the field for 62.3 percent and has grabbed 36 rebounds for 9.0 rpg. He also recorded his 10th He has scored in double figures in 23 of Gonzaga's 24 games this season, and has grabbed double-digit rebounds in eight of the last 12 contests. He also recorded his 14th career double-double and 10th of the season Monday against Portland with 32 points and 10 rebounds.

Josh Heytvelt played 11 minutes Monday at Portland in just his second game back from an ankle injury. He got in for one minute against Stanford last Saturday. Against Portland he went 3-for-5 from the field for 6 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and had a blocked shot. Heytvelt suffered a broken ankle against Connecticut on Nov. 23, had surgery on Nov. 28 and returned to action about two weeks ahead of schedule.

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.

Since Gonzaga's streak of seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances began in 1999, the Bulldogs have gone 97-11 in West Coast Conference regular-season play, including 19 straight victories. Overall in that stretch the Bulldogs are 114-12 against WCC foes including WCC Tournament games. The Bulldogs have been most dominant against Saint Mary's, posting a 21-1 overall record and 15-1 regular-season record. Only Pepperdine, San Diego and Santa Clara have managed to beat the Bulldogs more than once over the last eight seasons. Pepperdine and USD have turned the trick three times each, while SCU has a pair of wins over the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs lost 73-70 at San Francisco last season before running off nine straight to end the regular season, and have opened this season with 10 straight. Dating back to last season's WCC Tournament the Bulldogs have won 21 straight over WCC competition. Gonzaga, which has won or shared seven of the last eight WCC regular-season titles, went 14-0 in West Coast Conference play in 2004, the first team since Pepperdine in 1992 to run the table. The Bulldogs posted back-to-back 13-1 seasons in 2001-02.

Gonzaga University men's basketball coach Mark Few has signed three players to letters-of-intent for the 2006-07 season. Joining the Bulldogs next fall will be Matt Bouldin, a 6-5 guard from ThunderRidge High in Highlands Ranch., Colo., 6-9 forward Abdullahi (ob-duh-lie) Kuso out of Tallahassee, Fla., Community College and 7-3 center Will Foster from White River High in Buckley, Wash. Bouldin was the Colorado Player of the Year as a junior, averaging 15 ppg and 8 assists/game for the 24-4 Grizzlies. ThunderRidge has been in the State 5A title game each of his three previous seasons, capturing the title as a freshman in 2003 and taking the runner-up trophy each of the past two seasons. Kuso played 15 games and averaged 11.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 1.5 blocks/game last season for coach Eddie Barnes. He was named to the Panhandle Conference All-Academic team. He had originally signed a letter-of-intent to attend Rutgers University, but never played for the Scarlet Knights. He attended Rimi College in his native Kaduna, Nigeria. Foster's White River team, a member of the Seamount League, has advanced to the Washington State 3A Tournament each of the past three years and has posted a 57-21 overall record in that span.

After going 21-for-26 from the free throw line against Stanford and 25-for-29 at Portland, Gonzaga moved back atop the NCAA Division I ranks at 79.3 percent. The Bulldogs leap-frogged Saint Joseph's, which had moved ahead of Gonzaga a week ago. The Hawks are shooting 78.5 percent. Prior to the last two games the Bulldogs had been in a mini-slump from the line, shooting 67.1 percent over the previous three games, including a season-low 63.9 percent (23-for-36) Jan. 28 against Portland. Gonzaga has had 12 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.

Gonzaga junior guard Derek Raivio is mired in the worst shooting slump of his career. Since going 9-for-15 against Loyola Marymount on his way to 24 points, Raivio is just 9-for-42 for 21.40 percent in the last seven games and has scored 33 points for a 4.7 ppg average. Other parts of his game have remained steady, however, as he has 15 assists and 12 steals over the last four games.

Sean Mallon has been a solid contributor over the last five games. He's scored in double digits four times, including a season-high 15 points against Santa Clara. In the last five games he's averaging 11.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg and is shooting 61.3 percent from the field on 19-of-31. He recorded his third career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds at Portland on Monday.

Adam Morrison's 33 points Monday at Portland pushed his career total to 1,632 and moved him into seventh on the all-time GU list ahead of Richie Frahm (1,621). Jeff Brown is currently sixth with 1,646 points and Blake Stepp is fifth at 1,670. Morrison's 691 points this season rank third on the all-time single-season list behind Frank Burgess who holds the top two spots at 842 in 1961 and 751 in 1960. Morrison surpassed Dan Dickau (672 in 2002) on Monday. Morrison should also become the fifth player in GU history to make 600 field goals in a career as he enters this week with 598.

Derek Raivio has moved into eighth on both the career 3-point field goals made and attempted lists. Raivio is 144-for-338 for 42.6 percent in his career.

Gonzaga has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 417. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland.



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