Bulldogs Seek WCC Regular-Season Crown

Feb. 25, 2007

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 31 - San Diego
Mon., Feb. 26 - 7 p.m. PST
Jenny Craig Pavilion - San Diego, CA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); Fox College Sports (check local listings); COX Cable 4SD (San Diego)
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (20-10; 10-3 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, So., Chicago, IL
       (12.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.8 assists, 1.6 steals)
G -   5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 177, Sr., Vancouver, WA
       (18.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals)
G -  15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 214, Fr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (8.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.1 assists, 0.8 steals)
F -  32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 223, Sr., Spokane, WA
       (8.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals)
F -  31 Abdullahi Kuso, 6-9, 228, Jr., Kaduna, Nigeria
      (4.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.2 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  208-51 (8th year - 18th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO TOREROS (16-12; 6-7 West Coast) G - 4 Brandon Johnson, 6-0, 195, So., Houston, TX (13.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.5 assists, 2.0 steals) G - 14 Ross DeRogatis, 6-1, 185, Sr., Mansfield, TX (15.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steals) C - 34 Nir Cohen, 6-7, 245, Sr., Migdal Haemex, Israel (12.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.4 steals) F - 21 Gyno Pomare, 6-7, 220, So., Oceanside, CA (15.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 0.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.4 blocks) F - 15 Ray Murdock, 6-3, 204, So., Phoenix, AZ (4.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks) HEAD COACH: Brad Holland (UCLA, 1979) USD RECORD: 198-174 (13th year) CAREER RECORD: 221-205 (15th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

*********************************************************************************************** Gonzaga University's men's basketball game Monday at the University of San Diego will start at 7 p.m. and be televised on KHQ-TV (Spokane), Fox College Sports (check local listing) and Cox Cable 4SD (San Diego). ***********************************************************************************************

The regular season comes to an end Monday when Gonzaga University visits the University of San Diego at 7 p.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the USD campus. The Bulldogs will be looking for a season-sweep of the Toreros, taking the first meeting in Spokane 91-82 on Jan. 29.

Gonzaga University is assured of the No. 2 seed into the West Coast Conference Tournament, and there's only one scenario in which the Bulldogs can garner the No. 1 seed. Gonzaga must defeat the University of San Diego and Pepperdine University must knock off Santa Clara University to give the Bulldogs the outright title and with it the No. 1 seed. Gonzaga and SCU are tied for the lead at 10-3 following Gonzaga's overtime win at the University of San Francisco and Loyola Marymount's upset of SCU in Saturday's action. Should Gonzaga and SCU end deadlocked atop the standings, all tiebreakers favor the Broncos for the No. 1 seed into the WCC Tournament.

A win Monday over the University of San Diego will assure Gonzaga University no worse than a share of its seventh straight West Coast Conference title and the Bulldogs ninth in the last 10 years. The Bulldogs finished 11-3 and second in the WCC in Mark Few's first year as head coach in 2000, but the Bulldogs have been atop the conference every year since. Gonzaga finished in sole possession of first place during Dan Monson's two years at the helm in 1998-99, and the Bulldogs have won the title outright in five of the previous six years under Few, sharing the crown in 2002.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few earned his 200th career victory Jan. 13 at Santa Clara University. It was his 200th victory in his 247th game in his eight years as head coach, ranking him third on the "Fastest To 200 Wins" list in NCAA Division I history. Clair Bee, who coached Rider University and Long Island University, heads the list with 231 games while former Long Beach State University and UNLV head coach Jerry Tarkanian reached 200 wins in 234 games. Few is tied for 15th on the "Fastest To 100 Wins" list, achieving that milestone is his 126th game. Few is also 97-11 in West Coast Conference play, having coached his 100th WCC game Jan. 8 in a 69-52 home win over Pepperdine University. The Bulldogs win over the University of San Francisco on Jan. 27 was Few's 250th game as head coach of the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga University has won nine straight games against the University of San Diego and 20 of the last 22 meetings. The last USD victory in the series came in the 2003 West Coast Conference Tournament title game hosted by the Toreros 72-63. Until Gonzaga hosted and won the tourney last year USD had been the only host team to capture the tourney. USD also posted an 82-70 victory over the Bulldogs in the old Kennel in 2000. Gonzaga has never lost a regular-season game to USD in the Jenny Craig Pavilion in six tries since it opened for the 2001 season, and counting the three years of WCC Tournament play in the facility the Bulldogs are 13-1 in the building. Gonzaga is 8-1 overall against USD in the Jenny Craig including WCC Tournament play. The Bulldogs lead the overall series with the Toreros 47-20.

Gonzaga University had its 50-game home winning streak snapped with an 84-73 setback to Santa Clara University on Feb. 12. The streak was the longest current streak in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs also lost for the first time in the 3-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center, now 39-1 in their new home. Gonzaga won its final 12 home games next door in The Kennel. Since beginning the streak Feb. 22, 2003, with a 69-60 win over Tulsa University, the Bulldogs also played - and won - six games at the downtown Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. That gave the Bulldogs a 56-game winning streak in the city of Spokane. The last time the Bulldogs lost in Spokane prior to the Broncos was Feb. 19, 2003, to the University of Portland 72-68 in The Kennel.

Freshman Matt Bouldin matched his career high with 21 points in Gonzaga University's 86-79 overtime victory at the University of San Francisco on Saturday. He went 8-for-11 from the field and 5-for-7 from the line to equal his point production he had against the University of Washington on Dec. 9 in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Bouldin had two points in the overtime and handed out three of his four assists in the overtime, all three assists leading to easy baskets including a Jeremy Pargo dunk on a length-of-the-court fast break "football" pass.

Abdullahi Kuso grabbed 11 rebounds Saturday in Gonzaga University's overtime victory at the University of San Francisco, his second double-digit rebounding night of the season. He grabbed a career high 12 rebounds against the University of Texas San Antonio. His 8 points left him two shy of recording his second double-double of the season, his first coming in the UTSA game when he scored 15 points to go with his 12 boards. Kuso is 13-for-20 from the field for 65.0 percent and has grabbed 32 rebounds in that stretch.

Don't think Gonzaga University has a tough schedule? Ten teams on the Bulldogs schedule have been ranked at some point this season, including eight currently ranked (New rankings are due out Monday). The University of North Carolina is ranked fifth in both polls after holding the top spot earlier this season. Other ranked teams include the University of Memphis, Washington State University, University of Nevada, Butler University, Duke University, University of Texas and the University of Virginia. The University of Washington and Stanford University were ranked at the time they played the Bulldogs. Stanford received votes in both polls, while Santa Clara University received votes in one poll last week. The eight ranked teams have a record of 186-42.

Derek Raivio became the 29th member of Gonzaga University's 1,000-point club earlier this season and now has 1,397 career points to rank 14th. He moved past John Stockton (1,340), Cory Violette (1,342) and Bill Suter (1,354) with his 21 points against the University of Memphis. The senior from Vancouver, Wash., is averaging 11.3 ppg in his career. Raivio's 239 career 3-pointers, 570 3-point attempts, 151 steals and 341 assists all rank fourth on the Gonzaga career charts. His 320 career free throws moved him past John Stockton and into a tie for ninth with Matt Santangelo for 10th.

Senior Sean Mallon has been named to the ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) District VIII All-Academic first team. He has a 3.54 graduate school GPA in organizational leadership and 3.29 undergraduate GPA in political science. He is the first Gonzaga University men's basketball player to receive District VIII first team recognition since Blake Stepp in 2004. Mallon's name will now go on the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration. Stepp earned second team Academic All-America honors in 2004 after being a third team Academic All-America selection in 2003. Mallon, a product of Spokane's Ferris High, has 884 career points and 496 career rebounds. Mallon and junior David Pendergraft have also been named to the West Coast Conference All-Academic squad. Pendergraft carries a 3.0 GPA in philosophy and English.

Gonzaga University head men's basketball coach announced the signing of four players to national letters-of-intent to join the Bulldogs next fall. Scheduled to join the Bulldogs next season are freshmen Austin Daye, Woodbridge High in Irvine, Calif.; Steven Gray, Bainbridge High, Bainbridge, Wash., and Robert Sacre (pronounced sack-rEE), Handsworth Secondary School, North Vancouver, British Columbia, and junior college transfer Ira Brown, Phoenix, Ariz., College who hails from Conroe, Texas. Daye, a 6-10, 190-pound wing, was ranked as the 32nd-best player nationally and as the ninth best small forward by one scouting service in the Class of 2007. He was named to the Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West first team as the seventh-leading vote getter and was named to the Hot 100 players for 2007 as selected by Sports Illustrated. Daye averaged 16 ppg, 9 rpg and 3.4 blocks/game as a junior for coach John Halagan. Gray, a 6-4, 190-pound guard, was ranked as the 52nd best player and the 13th best shooting guard in the Class of 2007. He was also named to the Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West second team. He averaged 24.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4 assists and 2.5 steals last season for coach Scott Orness. Sacre, a 7-0, 255-pound post, was rated as the 100th best player in the Class of '07 and the seventh best center. He averaged 25 ppg, 12 rpg and 4 blocks/game for Handsworth Secondary School and coach Randy Storey last season, earning MVP of the British Columbia Provincial Tournament. Brown, a 6-4, 235-pound forward, was ranked as the 42nd best junior college player in the country after averaging 17 ppg, 10 rpg and shooting 60 percent from the field for Phoenix College and Coach Matt Gordon. A late bloomer to the collegiate game, Brown graduated from Willis High in Texas in May of 2001 and pursued a professional baseball career. He was drafted in the eight round of the 2001 Major League Draft by the Kansas City Royals and played four seasons of minor league baseball, including the 2002 season with the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League. He attended Phoenix College last season, averaging 17.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, shooting 57.6 percent from the field (253-for-439) and blocking 59 shots. "This is the first time we've ever had a class nationally ranked," Few said of the recruiting class ranked 11th best in the nation by one scouting service. "We got some offense, we got some size and we got some athleticism. This is a talented group."

Gonzaga is tied for eighth for the longest active NCAA Tournament Appearances Streak. The Bulldogs made their eighth straight appearance in 2006, joining Wisconsin, Texas and Florida. Arizona extended its streak to 22 with last spring's selection, followed by Kansas (17), Kentucky (15), Duke (11) and Michigan State (9). Streaks that ended in 2006 were Cincinnati (14), Stanford (11) and Oklahoma State (8).

Gonzaga has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 454. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland. UNLV held the all-time streak of 601 entering the current season.

Derek Raivio, who earlier this season set a school and West Coast Conference record with 44 straight free throws, has already broken that record, going 10-for-10 against the University of San Francisco on Saturday to extend his current streak to 56. It was the third time this season he's gone at least 10-for-10 in a game - going 10-10 against Baylor University and 12-12 against Santa Clara University. He began the current streak by making his final two attempts at Saint Mary's College in a 3-for-4 night from the line. Prior to connecting on 44 straight he had shared the school record of 41 with Geoff Goss. Through games of Sunday he was leading the NCAA in free throw shooting, connecting on 115-of-220 for 95.8 percent. He is a career 92.5 percent (320-for-346) shooter from the line, currently first in NCAA history. Gary Buchanan of Villanova was the career leader heading into the season at 91.3 percent (324-for-355). The career leader is based on a minimum of 300 free throws made and 2.5/game.

Micah Downs had a career-high 19 points and David Pendergraft a career-high 15 points last Monday against the University of Portland. Downs, whose previous best was 13 points against Chaminade University in the 2005 EA Sports Maui Invitational when he played for the University of Kansas, went 8-for-17 from the field, including 3-for-8 from 3-point range. Pendergraft's previous best was 14 twice, the most recent earlier this season at Stanford University. He was 6-for-9 from the field against the Pilots. Downs came back with 16 Saturday at the University of San Francisco for the first back-to-back double-digit games of his Gonzaga career.

Sophomore Jeremy Pargo has 59 assists in his last 10 games for a 5.9 average. He had a career-high 11 assists against the University of San Francisco to start his current streak. He's averaging a team-high 4.83 assists/game this year.

 

 

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