Zags Begin Season-Ending Roadtrip Versus The Dons

Feb. 22, 2002

After topping Pepperdine, Gonzaga eyes at least a tie for the West Coast Conference title as it finishes the regular season on the road.

Dan Dickau leads the Bulldogs (24-3, 11-1) as they end the season with a two-game California road trip that begins at San Francisco on Friday.

The 'Zags moved up one spot to No. 7 in this week's AP college basketball poll, the highest ranking in school history.

They avenged their only conference loss by beating the Waves over the weekend to extend their home-winning streak to 26 games.

"I had a feeling things were going pretty good over here and that I had a chance to be part of something special," Dickau said Monday after the rankings came out. "This is pretty sweet what we've got going on here, but we can't take it for granted."

Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine last week.

It snapped the Waves' 13-game winning streak, the longest in the nation this season. The victory also kept alive Gonzaga's chance at a second consecutive conference title and top seeding in the WCC tournament.

If the Bulldogs and Waves (18-7, 11-1) sweep games this weekend and finish 13-1 in the WCC, the two teams will be named regular-season co-champions of the conference. A coin flip will determine the No. 1 and 2 seeds into the WCC Tournament.

If the teams split this weekend or lose both games, then the tiebreaker would be how they did against WCC foes in descending order of league finish.

The Bulldogs, who have won nine straight, face San Francisco (12-13, 7-5) before playing at Saint Mary's on Saturday.

Dickau, a senior point guard, leads the WCC in scoring with an average of 20.9 points per game. He was huge against Pepperdine, tallying 26 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

"It feels great to be part of something like this," Dickau said. "But I don't think we're satisfied right now because there are a lot more things to do and games to play this year. ... We have a chance to do something special."

Gonzaga is counting on Dickau to play better this time around against San Francisco after having a rare off-night in the first meeting.

Dickau missed 13 of 20 shots but still ended up with 19 points and eight assists to lead the 'Zags to a 93-73 win over the Dons on Jan. 24.

San Francisco has won four of its seven games since losing to the Bulldogs. After consecutive losses to Santa Clara and San Diego, the Dons are hoping to end their first two-game conference losing streak of the season.

Shammell Stallworth had 18 points for San Francisco in an 88-55 loss to the Toreros on Saturday.

The Dons are led on offense by forward Darrell Tucker, who is averaging 18.6 points and 10 rebounds a game. Tucker was stifled by the Bulldogs defense in the first meeting, scoring just eight points on 2-of-10 shooting.



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