Bulldogs, Toreros In Big WCC Match-up

Feb. 17, 2008

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 27 - San Diego
Monday, February 18 - 8 p.m
. Jenny Craig Pavilion - San Diego CA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2 (Big Monday)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, Jr., Chicago, IL
       (11.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 6.4 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.4 blocks)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 214, So., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (13.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals)
G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-4, 190, Fr., Bainbridge, WA
       (8.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals)
C -  21 Robert Sacre, 7-0, 255, Fr., North Vancouver, B.C.
       (3.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F -  25 David Pendergraft, 6-6, 223, Sr., Brewster, WA
       (9.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  231-58 (9th year - 19th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO TOREROS (15-11, 8-1 West Coast) G - 1 Brandon Johnson, 6-0, 195, Jr., Houston, TX (16.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.4 assists, 2.2 steals) G - 11 Trumaine Johnson, 6-2, 180, Fr., Houston, TX (3.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals) G - 23 De'Jon Jackson, 6-1, 202, So., Fresno, CA (6.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks) C - 21 Gyno Pomare, 6-8, 240, Jr., Oceanside, CA (14.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.3 blocks) F - 22 Rob Jones, 6-6, 230, Fr., San Francisco, CA (8.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks) HEAD COACH: Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) USD RECORD: 15-11 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 28 - Portland
Monday, February 25 - 8 p.m.
Chiles Center - Portland, OR
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2 (Big Monday)
G -    1 Nik Raivio, 6-4, 195, So., Vancouver, WA
      (13.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -  20 Jared Stohl, 6-2, 155, Fr., Marysville, WA
      (8.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.4 steals)
C -  45 Kramer Knutson, 6-9, 215, Fr., Mesa, AZ
      (4.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F -    3 Ethan Niedermeyer, 6-6, 190, So., Lafayette, CA
      (4.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals)
F -    12 Robin Smeulders, 6-9, 215, So., Braunschweig, Germany
      (10.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.5 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Eric Reveno (Stanford, 1989)
UP RECORD:  17-41 (2nd year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same.
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  2/18 at San Francisco.

Showdown number two in West Coast Conference play takes place for Gonzaga University as the Bulldogs travel to once-beaten University of San Diego for an 8 p.m. contest on ESPN2 as part of Big Monday. The Bulldogs ran their WCC record to 9-1 with Saturday's win at the University of San Francisco, while the Toreros stayed on the heels of the Bulldogs - as well as 9-1 Saint Mary's College - with a home win over the University of Portland to improve their WCC mark to 8-1. The top three got a little more separation from third-place Santa Clara University (4-5) when the Broncos were upset by Pepperdine University 64-58 Saturday. A Gonzaga win over USD would assure the Bulldogs no worse than the third seed into the WCC Tournament. The top three have knocked off each other - Gonzaga defeated San Diego which defeated Saint Mary's which defeated Gonzaga - and the home team won each match-up. USD is at Saint Mary's next weekend while the Gaels visit Gonzaga the final weekend of the regular season.

David Pendergraft scored a season-high 17 points to lead Gonzaga University to an 83-63 victory over San Francisco on Saturday. Jeremy Pargo added 11 points, seven assists and three steals for Gonzaga. Five Bulldogs scored at least nine points, including Austin Daye, who had 10. Dior Lowhorn, who entered the game as the WCC's leading scorer with a 20.8 average, scored a game-high 20 points for USF. He made 8-of-11 shots from the field. Gonzaga led by as many as 26 points, and never trailed after scoring the game's first points. The Bulldogs spread the offense throughout their roster in the first half with 10 players scoring from two to seven points. They shot 60 percent in the first half. After USF pulled to within eight points with 5:30 remaining in the half, the Bulldogs went on a 13-4 run for a 49-29 halftime lead. Pendergraft and Steven Gray scored seven points apiece in the first half to pace Gonzaga's balanced offense. Gray led the Bulldogs with six rebounds.

In the first meeting this season between Gonzaga University and the University of San Diego, Matt Bouldin led five players in double figures with 16 points, and Gonzaga used a fast to start to post an 80-70 win. Josh Heytvelt added 15 points and Micah Downs scored 12 for the Bulldogs, who started the game on a 15-0 run and never trailed. Brandon Johnson had 26 points and seven steals for the Toreros. After trailing by as many as 22, San Diego pulled within 72-64 with 6:02 left behind eight straight points from Johnson. The Toreros then got within 76-69 with 1:06 left on a free throw by Chris Lewis, but Bouldin and Heytvelt each hit a pair of foul shots in the final 19 seconds to seal it for Gonzaga. Steven Gray and Jeremy Pargo both added 10 points for the Bulldogs. Gray's eight points staked the Zags to a 15-0 lead in the first six minutes as the Bulldogs forced five San Diego turnovers and the Toreros missed their first six shots before De'Jon Jackson's inside hoop finally got USD on the board. Downs scored Gonzaga's next 10 points, capped by a 3-pointer with 8:12 left, that pushed the lead to 27-13. San Diego got as close as 39-29 on Lewis' bucket with 3:23 left before Gonzaga closed the half with seven straight points, six scored by Bouldin, to push the lead to 46-29 at the break. Pargo had eight assists and David Pendergraft nine rebounds for Gonzaga. Jackson finished with 15 points and Gino Pomare had 11 rebounds for San Diego.

Think Gonzaga University hasn't played a tough schedule? The combined record of the teams who have handed the Bulldogs their six losses is 107-29 for a winning percentage of 78.7 percent. No. 1 University of Memphis (25-0) leads the way as four of the six teams have already won 20 or more games through contests of Sunday.

It's time to start checking the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) as the second half of West Coast Conference action winds down and teams start eyeing the WCC Tournament and subsequent NCAA Tournament berths. Gonzaga enters Monday's game with an RPI of 39 through games of Saturday. The Bulldogs strength of schedule is 93. Of the other two schools in the WCC title hunt with the Bulldogs, Saint Mary's College has an RPI of 27 and a SOS of 152, while the University of San Diego has an RPI of 113 and a SOS of 117. The West Coast Conference is 12th in the conference RPI, but the WCC was ranked second in the non-conference strength of schedule.

Gonzaga University has shot 50 percent or better in each of the last five games - 25-for-50 (50.0 percent) at Santa Clara University, 32-for-63 (50.8 percent) at Saint Mary's College, 40-for-74 (54.1 percent) against Pepperdine University, 30-for-53 (56.6 percent) against Loyola Marymount University and 25-for-48 (52.1 percent) Saturday at the University of San Francisco. That makes the Bulldogs 152-for-288 in that stretch for 52.8 percent.

While Gonzaga University has been hot from the field recently, the Bulldogs have been on fire in West Coast Conference play. Gonzaga is shooting 53.4 percent from the field (307-575) in WCC action, including a season-high 65.4 percent (34-for-52) against Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in the WCC opener.

Gonzaga University has won 20 or more games for 11 straight seasons and for 13 of the last 14 campaigns.

Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 485. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland. UNLV holds the all-time streak of 668 entering this season.

Senior David Pendergraft, known for his steady blue-collar approach, has stepped his game up a notch over the last four games. He is 17-for-24 from the field for 70.8 percent, including 10-for-13 from 3-point range for 76.1 percent. He has scored 48 points for a 12.0 average over that stretch, including a season-high 17 Saturday at the University of San Francisco. He went 5-for-6 from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range, and went 4-for-4 from the line against the Dons.

Gonzaga University is in search of its 10th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs current streak of nine straight appearances ranks the Bulldogs tied for sixth for consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with the University of Florida, University of Texas and University of Wisconsin.

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 50-2 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.

There might be some magic in that No. 5 jersey freshman Austin Daye is wearing - especially when it comes to the free throw line. Daye is 76-for-83 for 91.6 percent from the stripe this season. He was ranked seventh nationally at 91.1 percent through games of last Thursday when the latest rankings were compiled. Derek Raivio, who wore No. 5 throughout his Gonzaga career, is one of the most prolific free throw shooters in NCAA history. He finished his career hitting 92.7 percent from the line and holds the top three single-season percentage marks in school history. Raivio went 148-for-154 for 96.1 percent to lead the NCAA Division I ranks in percentage a year ago and ranks second all-time on the NCAA single-season list. For his career he went 343-for-370 for 92.7 percent to rank second in the NCAA based on a minimum of 300 free throws made and 2.5 free throws made/game. Raivio set the Gonzaga record of 56 consecutive free throws. Daye had 29 straight makes this season, and had another string of 17 snapped against the University of Portland.

Head coach Mark Few picked up his 225th career victory Jan. 19 against the University of San Diego. With 231 victories, Few is third on the all-time Gonzaga victories chart behind Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) and Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 seasons). Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 109-13 and fourth on the all-time WCC wins list behind Carroll Williams, Santa Clara University (165-137), Dick Davey, SCU (122-88) and Fitzgerald (112-88).

Senior Abdullahi Kuso has made 9 of his last 10 field goal attempts - going 3-for-3 against both Pepperdine University and Loyola Marymount University after making his final attempt at Saint Mary's College and hitting 2-of-3 Saturday against the University of San Francisco. He has also grabbed 27 rebounds for 6.8 rpg over the last four games.

Gonzaga University men's basketball coach Mark Few added three players to his charges for the 2008-09 season with the signing of three players to letters-of-intent. Andy Poling, 6-11, 230-pound forward from Westview High in Portland, Ore.; Grant Gibbs, 6-5, 190-pound guard from Linn-Mar High in Marion, Iowa, and Demetri Goodson, 6-0, 175-pound guard from Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, made their intentions official to become Bulldogs on the first day of national letter-of-intent signing day. All three had previously made verbal commitments. Poling averaged 13.9 ppg last season to rank fifth in the Metro League in scoring while leading the Wildcats to a 21-8 overall record and 8-2 second-place Metro League finish. He was named honorable mention All-State 6A in Westview's first season in the newly-created State 6A classification. He was also voted first-team All-Metro League for the Wildcats, ranked seventh in the state heading into the State 6A Tournament where they lost their first two games. Poling was rated one of the 20 best centers in the country by one scouring service. Gibbs averaged 15.0 ppg, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rpg as Linn-Mar captured the Iowa State 4A title last spring. He had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the quarterfinal win over Sioux City North; 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 7 steals in the semifinal victory over Urbandale, and scored 15 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and had a pair of assists and steals in the title game against Bettendorf to cap a 24-1 season. He finished third in tournament scoring with 45 points and tied for fourth with 21 rebounds in earning All-Tournament honors. Goodson helped lead Klein Collins to the Region 2 title game last season while averaging 16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 7.0 assists/game. He was an All-State 5A selection, the largest classification in Texas. Goodson was rated as high as the 135th best player in the country by one scouting service.



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