Bulldogs Look To Wrap Up Regular Season Title At Home

Feb. 18, 2009

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 25 - Loyola Marymount University
Thursday, February 19 - 6 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane);
101.1 FM Rock `N' Roll's Greatest Hits (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listings)
No. 17/20 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (19-5; 10-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL
       (9.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (13.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 194, Sr., Kirkland, WA
       (8.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA
       (14.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.0 blocks)
F -   5 Austin Daye, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA
       (13.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.1 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  255-65 (10th year - 20th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT LIONS (2-24; 1-9 West Coast) G - 0 Jarred DuBois, 6-3, 170, Fr., Los Angeles, CA (13.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.9 assists, 1.1 steals) G - 11 Vernon Teel, 6-1, 190, So., Jamaica Queens, NY (16.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals) C - 12 Marko Deric, 6-9, 230, Sr., Perth, Australia (3.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals) F - 40 Kevin Young, 6-8, 185, Fr., Perris, CA (8.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.2 blocks) F - 24 LeRon Armstead, 6-5, 195, Fr., Los Angeles, CA (8.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks) HEAD COACH: Max Good (Eastern Kentucky, 1969) LMU RECORD: 2-20 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: 230-233 (15th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 26 - Pepperdine University
Saturday, February 21 - 8:30 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane);
101.1 FM Rock `N' Roll's Greatest Hits (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPNU
PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY WAVES (8-14; 5-5 West Coast)
G -     3 Keion Bell, 6-3, 180, Fr., Los Angeles, CA
       (12.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.2 assists, 0.5 steals)
G -  31 Ryan Holmes, 6-1, 185, Sr., Phoenix, AZ
       (6.7 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 2.3 assists, 0.6 steals)
C -  44 Corbin Moore, 6-10, 240, Fr., Cypress, CA
      (3.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.4 blocks)
F -   15 Mychel Thompson, 6-7, 200, So., Ladera Ranch, CA
      (10.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks)
F -   32 Taylor Darby, 6-7, 210, Fr., San Marcos, CA
       (6.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Tom Asbury (Wyoming, 1968)
PEP RECORD:  133-77 (7th year)  CAREER RECORD:  218-165 (13th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  1/19 at Portland.
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

Gonzaga University returns home for the final time this season in West Conference play when Loyola Marymount University visits Thursday at 6 p.m. and Pepperdine University comes to town Saturday for an 8:30 p.m. tip. The Bulldogs put their perfect 10-0 WCC record on the line Thursday against the Lions, which picked up their first WCC victory last Thursday against the University of San Diego and narrowly missed a weekend sweep in Saturday's 69-64 setback to Santa Clara University.

Austin Daye made five free throws in the final 27.8 seconds and finished with 17 points in No. 19 Gonzaga University's 11th victory in 12 games, 78-73 over the University of San Francisco last Saturday. Demetri Goodson scored 13 points, Jeremy Pargo had 12 and Matt Bouldin added 11 for the Zags who hit a season-high 60 percent of their shots, but still couldn't put away the Dons until late. San Francisco tied it at 49 early in the second half on a 3-pointer by Lowhorn, the conference's leading scorer. The Dons hit a season-best 14 3-pointers, including nine in the second half. But Micah Downs replied with a 3-pointer, and the Bulldogs led the rest of the way. Josh Heytvelt scored 10 points for Gonzaga, which was 9-for-17 on 3-pointers. Despite 65 percent shooting, Gonzaga led just 41-37 at halftime due largely to 12 turnovers and the play of Lowhorn, who scored 15 points in the first half. Gonzaga won its previous meeting with the Dons, 85-51 on Jan. 17 in Spokane. The loss was San Francisco's most lopsided of the season.

Matt Bouldin and Josh Heytvelt both became members of the Gonzaga University 1,000 point club last week. Bouldin became the 31st member Thursday at Saint Mary's College when he got a layup with 15:34 to play in the opening half. He now has 1,031 points for 30th on the all-time list. Heytvelt became the 32nd member Saturday at the University of San Francisco, his first points coming on a jumper from the right side of the free throw line with 15:31 to play in the first half. He now has 1,008 points for 31st on the all-time list. Jeremy Pargo hit his 1,000th point earlier this season. It's the first time since 2004 the Bulldogs have had three 1,000-point scorers on the team at one time when Ronny Turiaf, Blake Stepp and Cory Violette all had 1,000 points. Rich Evans, Jack Curran and Frank Walter were 1,000-point scorers on the floor at the same time in 1950.

Gonzaga University moved up two spots to 17th in this week's Associated Press Top 25 and one spot to 20th in the USA Today/ESPN balloting following last week's sweep at Saint Mary's College and the University of San Francisco. The University of Connecticut, which handed the Bulldogs an 88-83 overtime loss in The Battle in Seattle Dec. 20, remained No. 1 for the third straight week but suffered a loss to No. 4 University of Pittsburgh Monday night. The Bulldogs have been as high as fourth in both polls.

Matt Bouldin hit five 3-pointers and scored 18 points to lead Gonzaga University to a 93-60 rout of Loyola Marymount University in the first meeting between the teams this season in Los Angeles. The Bulldogs hit 12 3-pointers. A big part of the rout was their balanced scoring, with four Gonzaga players in double figures. Austin Daye had 14 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds for Gonzaga. Steven Gray added 14 points and made four 3's and senior forward Josh Heytvelt finished with 15 points, six rebounds and four blocks. Micah Downs added 10 points and six rebounds off the bench. Freshman Kevin Young had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Lions, who trailed 43-17 at halftime.

With its next win Gonzaga University will hit the 20-win plateau for the 12th straight year and for the 16th time in the last 18 years. Gonzaga head coach Mark Few has been a part of all 15 previous 20-win seasons, including the last nine as head coach.

For just the third time in 10 West Coast Conference games an opponent lost to Gonzaga University by single digits. Saint Mary's College has turned the trick in both meetings, 69-62 in Spokane and 72-70 in Moraga. The University of San Francisco lost 78-73 last Saturday at home. Gonzaga still has a +18.6 winning margin in WCC play.

Gonzaga University shot a season-best 60.0 percent from the field (30-for-50) last Saturday at the University of San Francisco. The Bulldog shot 65.0 percent in the first half. It was the first game the Bulldogs had shot 60.0 percent or better since last season at Loyola Marymount University when Gonzaga shot 65.4 percent (34-for-52). The previous best for the Bulldogs this season was 55.4 percent (36-for-65) against Santa Clara University in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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 60-3 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's other losses were last season to Washington State University and this year's setback to Portland State University.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few moved into second place on the school's all-time winningest coaches list with the Bulldogs victory at the University of Portland. Few, in his 10th season, is now 255-65 and moved ahead of Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 years). Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) is the all-time leader. Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 123-13, 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. Carroll Williams, SCU (165-137) holds the top spot.

Gonzaga University senior Jeremy Pargo is up for another post-season award, the Chicago, Ill., native one of 17 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award sponsored by The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in conjunction with The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. The award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate point guard. The 17 finalists were chosen from a pool of over 60 top candidates from NCAA Division I, II and III institutions across the country. The 2009 Finalists were selected by screening committees comprised of media members representing all three divisions of collegiate basketball. In addition to Pargo, the other finalists are Sheron Collins University, Kansas; Darren Collison, UCLA; Stephen Curry, Davidson; Toney Douglas, Florida State; Levance Fields, Pittsburgh; Jonny Flynn, Syracuse; Dominic James, Marquette; Ty Lawson, North Carolina; Eric Maynor, Virginia Commonwealth; Patrick Mills, St. Mary's; AJ Price, Connecticut, and Jeff Teague, Wake Forest. Pargo is also a John R. Wooden Award Pre-Season Top 50 candidate, and along with teammate Josh Heytvelt is a Naismith Trophy Top 30 candidate.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few added two players to the Bulldog fold to letters-of-intent. Sam Dower, a 6-9, 220-pound left-handed senior center/forward from Osseo, Minn., High School and 6-5, 185-pound wing Mangisto "Manny" Arop will join GU next season. Dower averaged 22 ppg and 10 rpg per game in the month of July and 18 ppg and 9 rpg for this past AAU season, according to head coach Marquise Watts of Net Gain Sports, Dower's AAU club. Net Gain Sports won the Twin Cities Summer Classic, won the adidas 64 Gold Division in Las Vegas and went 3-2 in round-robin play in the Duel in the Desert in Phoenix, according to Watts. "He can score for a big guy. He's a lefty so that makes it harder to defend because most people aren't used to seeing a lefthander," Few said. "He can make a difference and is a unique post player. He had a good spring and a great summer." Watts said Dower has worked hard to improve his game. "Every day over the last two years he's gotten better. I don't think he's begun to scratch the surface. His inside-outside game, he can shoot the three and on the block he's a lefty with a great hook shot," Watts said. "He's athletic, he's working on putting on weight and he will fit in real well at Gonzaga." Dower didn't make the varsity team at Osseo until midway through his sophomore year. He averaged 2.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg then blossomed last season to average 13.4 ppg and 5.9 rpg. Last season he scored in double figures 23 times and had double-digit rebounds six times. The Orioles went 28-1, their lone setback 60-59 in the Region finals. He scored a career-high 23 points at Coon Rapids and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds at Orono. He had several scholarship offers, among them the University of Minnesota, Marquette University and the University of Iowa. Arop, born in the Sudan, currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he plays with Basketball Canada's National Elite Development Academy (NEDA) which is basically Canada's Junior National Team. His first name is pronounced Man-GEESE-toe, his last name pronounced "rop" (the "a" is silent) but he goes simply by Manny. He recently set a single-game scoring NEDA scoring record with 42 points, and this past summer played for Canada in the FIBA Americas Championship in Formosa, Argentina. He averaged 17.0 ppg to rank second, 10.2 rpg to rank third, shot 52.8 percent from the field on 23-for-58 and 87.5 percent from the line on 14-of-15 in the five tournament games as Canada placed fifth. He had 21 points and 9 rebounds against the U.S. in the tourney. "Manny is a high energy player with a great competitive streak," Few said. "His skill level is something to be excited about. He has a great opportunity to be effective for us at both ends of the court." His mother and four brothers left Sudan when he was 9-years-old and lived in Kenya prior to re-locating to Regina, Saskatchewan. Arop then spent a year in Edmonton, Alberta, before joining Basketball Canada's NEDA program, which is a year-round junior development camp.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few and wife Marcy gave birth to son Colt Walker Norman Few on New Year's Day, the couple's fourth child joining Austin James (A.J.), Joe and Julia.

With last week's sweep, Gonzaga University is assured of playing in the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals as no worse than the No. 2 seed and with one more win or one University of Portland loss will wrap up its ninth straight regular-season title and the No. 1 seed. Gonzaga holds a three-game lead over the University of Portland (7-3) and is four games ahead of Saint Mary's College (7-4). Gonzaga has four WCC games remaining. Gonzaga's eight straight regular-season titles is the longest current streak in the nation and ranks tied for fifth all-time in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs would tie the University of Kentucky for fourth, the Wildcats winning nine straight Southeastern Conference crowns from 1944-52. UCLA's 13 Pacific-10 Conference titles from 1967-79 head the list.

Gonzaga University is the top defensive field goal percentage team in the nation, opponents connecting on just 37.1 percent (518-for-1401) from the field. The 2002 team set the school record, holding opponents to 38.5 percent from the field. Loyola Marymount University, Thursday's opponent in the McCarthey Athletic Center, is last in field goal percentage in the NCAA Division I ranks at 34.8 percent (485-for-1394).

After being out rebounded in back-to-back games by double digits, Gonzaga University rebounded (no pun intended) to handle the University of San Francisco on the boards 35-25 last Saturday. It was the eighth time this season Gonzaga held a double-digit edge in rebounding. Gonzaga is 14-1 when out rebounding teams this year - the University of Arizona the lone exception when Gonzaga held a 36-30 edge in a 69-64 loss. The Bulldogs are 5-4 when losing the battle on the boards.

Senior walk-on Andrew Sorenson is no more. No, he's still on the team. But the walk-on status was removed in the post-game speeches Jan. 17 following Gonzaga University's win over the University of San Francisco when he was put on scholarship. Assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, who runs Gonzaga's tryout program, got the honors from head coach Mark Few. "He deserves it," Lloyd said. "He works hard in practice, is a great team guy and is probably the fan favorite. We still had a scholarship to use, so we talked it over as a staff and decided Andrew should get it this semester." Sorenson, from Olympia, Wash., tried out in 2004-05 but did not make the team, then tried out again the following year and was give a spot on the roster.

Gonzaga University sophomore Robert Sacre continues to recover from a broken right foot suffered Dec. 5 in practice, the same foot he had a pin inserted in earlier this fall to help heal a non-displaced stress fracture. The newest fracture is in front of the previous stress fracture. Recent x-rays indicate the latest fracture is healing. He will undergo weekly x-rays to chart the healing progress. The Vancouver, British Columbia, native will be sidelined indefinitely.

Sophomore Austin Daye continues to climb up the all-time Gonzaga University blocked shots list. He now has 104 to move past Tim Ruff (1981-85) for third. Ronny Turiaf (2002-05) is second with 179 and Casey Calvary (1998-01) sits atop the list with 207.

They may not be the "Men in Black" but Gonzaga University did debut its new black uniforms at Saint Mary's College. The decision to wear black was made just hours prior to game time, although the Bulldogs, obviously, did pack the new look for the trip.

Gonzaga University senior Jeremy Pargo became the 30th member of the 1,000-point club for the Bulldogs against Portland State University and has also surpassed the 500-assists plateau. The native of Chicago now has 1,130 career points to move into 22nd. Zach Gourde is 21st with 1,145. Pargo's 548 career assists make him the fourth member of the 500 club behind Matt Santangelo (668), Blake Stepp (640) and John Stockton (554). He needs seven to move past Stockton into third. Pargo's 156 career steals have moved him past Blake Stepp (152) for fourth.

Gonzaga University freshman Demetri Goodson scored a season and, obviously, career high with 13 points at the University of San Francisco. That bettered his previous best of 8 points New Year's Eve at the University of Utah.

 

 

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