Men's Basketball Faces Big Bay Area Weekend
Feb. 23, 2000
Game No. 28 - Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (20-7, 10-2 in West Coast Conference)
G - 13 Matt Santangelo, 6-1, 176, Sr., Portland, OR
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY BRONCOS (16-11, 7-5 in West Coast Conference
Sunday, February 27 - 3 p.m. PST
Memorial Gym - San Francisco, CA
Radio: KXLI 630 AM 25 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: FOX Sports Net (Channel 34 AT&T Cable in Spokane)
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO DONS (18-7, 6-6 in West Coast Conference)
BULLDOGS' FACE BIG WEEK IN BAY AREA: Gonzaga University faces a critical weekend to bring the curtain down on the regular season. The Bulldogs, still very much in the West Coast Conference title hunt and seeking their third straight crown, head to the Bay Area for a Friday contest at Santa Clara University and a 3 p.m. Sunday television matinee at the University of San Francisco. But the Bulldogs need some help to claim their third straight regular-season crown. Gonzaga trails Pepperdine University (11-1) by one game heading into the final weekend, but the Bulldogs will be hoping the University of San Diego can play the role of spoiler again as they did last Thursday in The Kennel. USD put Gonzaga out of first place in the WCC for the first time since Jan. 24, 1998, when the Toreros pulled the upset of the year in the WCC with an 82-70 win at Gonzaga. Should USD beat Pepperdine, the Waves beat Saint Mary's and Gonzaga pull the weekend sweep, then a coin toss would determine the top seed into the WCC Tournament for the first time in 13 years. Should Pepperdine stumble twice and Gonzaga get the sweep, the crown and the top seed would again belong to the Bulldogs. A Pepperdine win Thursday assures the Waves no worse than a tie for the title and the top seed heading into the tournament. Gonzaga's loss to USD would give the seeding tiebreaker to Pepperdine should the two teams tie for first in the latter scenario.
SENIORS LEAVE THE KENNEL VICTORIOUS: Gonzaga University's five seniors left The Kennel victorious one last time with last Saturday's 93-66 victory over Saint Mary's College. Richie Frahm broke out of a mild shooting slump to go 10-for-14 on his way to 26 points, Matt Santangelo added 20 points and Axel Dench, Casey Calvary and Zach Gourde each contributed 10 in the rout. Trailing 20-19, the Bulldogs went on a 20-2 run to open a 48-28 halftime lead and coasted the rest of the way. Gonzaga's seniors- Dench, Frahm, Ryan Floyd, Mike Nilson and Santangelo - ended their careers with a 40-4 record in The Kennel, including last season's 10-0 mark. The Bulldog seniors are 72-24 over the past three seasons heading into Friday's game at Santa Clara.
TOSO HAS BEEN SOSO: Gonzaga University has not faired well in Toso Pavilion on the Santa Clara University campus since the Bulldogs joined the West Coast Conference for the 1979-80 season. In 20 previous regular-season trips the Bulldogs have just a 3-17 record to show for their efforts. With two losses to the Broncos at Toso prior to joining the WCC and with last year's WCC Tournament championship game victory by the Bulldogs over SCU in the pavilion, Gonzaga is 4-19 overall under the bubble roof. Gonzaga won on its third trip to the building, then suffered 11 straight losses until halting the skid with a 60-58 nail biter in 1994, then lost four more prior to last year's 71-69 thriller.
SANTANGELO GETS THE RECORD: Senior guard Matt Santangelo got the much-anticipated school career assists record when he handed out five assists against the University of San Francisco on Jan. 13 for the 555th in his career to break John Stockton's mark of 554 set from 1981-84. Santangelo's record-breaking assist was an inbound pass to Ryan Floyd who drained a 3-pointer from the left corner with 16:23 to go in the game, Santangelo's lone second-half assist. Santangelo now has 621 career assists for fourth all-time in the West Coast Conference. USF's Orlando Smart holds the WCC mark with 902. With 178 assists this season, Santangelo is 24 shy of breaking Stockton's single-season record of 201 set in 1984. Santangelo had 184 assists last year for a career high. He is also 27 assists shy of cracking the WCC single-season top 10, Smart 10th with 204 assists in 1994.
SANTANGELO TIES SCHOOL RECORD: Senior guard Matt Santangelo matched the single-game school assists record of 13 at Loyola Marymount University. The record was set by Ken Tyler against Montana State in 1975 and equaled twice by John Stockton against the University of San Diego and again against the University of Portland during the 1983-84 season.
SANTANGELO HITS 1,700 POINTS: Matt Santangelo now has 1,700 career points to rank 3rd on the Gonzaga University all-time scoring charts. Santangelo trails Frank Burgess (2,196 from 1959-61) and Jim McPhee (2,105 from 1986-90) on the all-time list. He's averaging 13.8 ppg in his career.
FRAHM PASSES 1,400 POINT BARRIER: Senior guard Richie Frahm continues his climb up the all-time Gonzaga University points chart, and has eclipsed the 1,400 point barrier with 1,482 for 7th. He needs 26 points to move past Rich Evans and into 6th, Evans scoring 1,507 points from 1947-50. Frahm, who scored 504 points last season, needs 66 more points this season to pass Jerry Vermillion for fifth place. Vermillion scored 1,547 points from 1952-55.
GONZAGA HAS RPI OF 47: Gonzaga University is 47th in this week's RPI with a rating of .5748. Of Gonzaga's opponents this season, 14 have a RPI in the top 150, including top-ranked University of Cincinnati, which checks in with a .6758. Gonzaga has also faced two teams ranked in both this week's Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25 polls - No. 3 Cincinnati (both polls) and Temple University (8th in AP, 12th in ESPN/USA TODAY). Temple upended previously top-ranked Cincinnati last Sunday on the Bearcats home floor.
FEW JOINS ELITE FEW: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few joined an elite group of West Coast Conference coaches with his 20th victory last Saturday. Few became the seventh WCC rookie head coach to win 20 games, with Pepperdine University's Jan van Breda Kolff joining the list three days prior to Few's inauguration. Gonzaga's Dan Monson turned the trick during the 1997-98 season. The previous coaches to win 20 their first year were University of Portland coach Rob Chavez in 1994, Pepperdine's Tom Asbury in 1988 and the University of San Francisco duo of Pete Barry (1980) and Dan Belloumini (1978).
FRAHM BREAKS OUT OF MINI SLUMP: Senior Richie Frahm, who shot 59.0 percent from the floor for the month of January, was hitting just 39.6 percent of his shots for the month of February heading into last Saturday's home finale, including 2-for-20 in his two previous outings. But one of the purest shooters in the nation broke out of the mild slump with a 10-for-14 night on his way to 26 points. He went 4-for-5 from 3-point range. Frahm is still second in the West Coast Conference with his 16.8 ppg, trailing Kenyon Jones of the University of San Francisco who is averaging 17.1 ppg. In WCC games only, Jones is first at 17.1 ppg, teammate Darrell Tucker has moved into second at 16.3 ppg and Frahm is third at 16.1 ppg.
HITTING A CENTURY: Gonzaga University posted back-to-back 100-point games for the first time in the Bulldogs' 42-year NCAA Division I history with the 103-56 and 101-77 drubbings of Loyola Marymount University. The Bulldogs reached the century mark for the third time this season, having defeated the University of Texas-Pan American 111-71. The 1963-64 squad had four 100-point outings for the most in a single season - 108-57 over Eastern Washington University, 103-70 against Eastern Montana College and 100-83 over the University of Montana. The Bulldogs also fell 105-100 to the University of Portland that season. Gonzaga is 38-5 when scoring 100 or more points, including 18 straight.
CALVARY SWATS 'EM AWAY: Casey Calvary matched his career high with 5 blocks in Gonzaga University's win earlier this season over Eastern Washington University. He had 5 blocks last season against St. Martin's College. He has blocked at least one shot in 72 of his last 80 games and in 80 of his 93 career games overall. He has blocked at least one shot in 21-of-26 games he's played this season. He had at least one block in 20 of the last 21 games his freshman season, then started last season with blocks in 29 straight games. He blocked a shot in 32 of his 34 appearances a year ago. He led the West Coast Conference in blocked shots with 46 as a freshman and again last year with 57. He has 47 this season to rank first at 1.8/game, and has 150 blocks in his Gonzaga career.
LAST TIME OUT OF FIRST: Last Thursday's setback which dropped Gonzaga University into second place in the West Coast Conference title race marked the first time since Jan. 24, 1998, the Bulldogs have not had a least a share of the WCC lead. Gonzaga led wire-to-wire in capturing last year's WCC regular-season title.
FRAHM WCC PLAYER OF MONTH: Gonzaga University senior guard Richie Frahm was been named the West Coast Conference men's basketball Player of the Month for January. Frahm averaged 19.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, shot 59.0 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from 3-point range and nailed 83.3 percent of his free throws in helping Gonzaga to an undefeated (8-0) month. The native of Battle Ground, WA, scored 20 or more points four times, including 31 against the University of San Diego. He was named the WCC Player of the Week twice for the month. It marked the second straight year Frahm earned the league's nod for the month of January, and is the fifth straight season a Gonzaga player has been honored for the month of January.
SAGARIN RANKINGS: Through Tuesday's games, Gonzaga University was ranked 28th in the Jeff Sagarin NCAA Basketball Rankings. The Bulldogs have an 85.56 rating. The University of North Carolina is 27th at 85.60, and the University of Wisconsin is 29th at 85.27. The Bulldogs finished 18th last year with an 87.01 rating. Gonzaga's schedule is ranked 85th with a 75.26 rating. The University of Cincinnati, a 75-68 winner over Gonzaga this season, and Stanford University, who Gonzaga defeated in last year's NCAA Tournament second round, are tied for the top spot in the Sagarin ratings with a 96.44. The University of Iowa has the toughest schedule with an 83.09 rating. On a conference note, the West Coast Conference is ranked 13th with a 74.31 rating. The Big Ten Conference is No. 1 with an 84.34.
BULLDOGS IN THE KENNEL: The Kennel - home of Gonzaga University's Bulldogs - has gained the reputation as one of the toughest courts in the country. In the last nine seasons the Bulldogs are 103-9 at home for a nifty 91.9 winning percentage, finishing 10-1 this season. The Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel in 1999, winning by an average of 31.9 ppg. The Bulldogs also posted undefeated home campaigns in 1993 (13-0) and 1994 (14-0), and suffered just one home setback in 1996 and 1998. Gonzaga was 10-1 at home in 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the second-longest active streak in the country.
ON THE TUBE AND THE DIAL: Sunday's game between Gonzaga University and the University of San Francisco will be televised on FOX Sports Net Bay Area and on most FOX Sports Net affiliates in the Pacific Northwest, including channel 34 on the AT&T cable system in Spokane. There will be no television coverage of Friday's game at Santa Clara University, but the game can be heard on KTRW 970 AM in Spokane as well as through Gonzaga's web site. Sunday's game will be on KXLI 630 AM in Spokane as well as through the web at http://www.gozags.com.
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