Bulldogs Home To Try To Lock Up WCC Regular-Season Crown

Feb. 24, 2010

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Men's Basketball Game FactsGame No. 28 - Santa Clara University
Thursday, February 25 - 8 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WA
Radio: Sports Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 101.1 KEYF-FM (Spokane)
Network pre-game show 60 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 18/15 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (22-5; 10-2 West Coast)
G -   3 Demetri Goodson, 5-11, 164, So., Spring, TX
       (7.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Sr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (16.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 assists, 1.5 steals)
G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-5, 208, Jr., Bainbridge, WA
       (13.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.4 blocks)
C - 00 Robert Sacre, 7-0, 247, So., North Vancouver, B.C.
       (10.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.8 blocks)
F -  20 Elias Harris, 6-8, 215, Fr., Speyer, Germany
       (15.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  286-71 (11th year - 21st at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY BRONCOS (11-18; 3-9 West Coast) G - 1 Robert Smith, 6-0, 185, Fr., Riverside, CA (12.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals) G - 14 Michael Santos, 6-5, 200, Jr., Occidental, CA (5.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals) F - 10 Ben Dowdell, 6-7, 225, Jr., North Nowra, N.S.W. Australia (6.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 15 Marc Trasolini, 6-9, 235, So., Vancouver, B.C. (14.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.7 blocks) F - 24 Troy Payne, 6-6, 220, Jr., Los Angeles, CA (4.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.6 blocks) HEAD COACH: Kerry Keating (Seton Hall, 1993) SCU RECORD: 42-51 (3rd year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 29 - University of San Francisco
Saturday, February 27 - 5 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WA
Radio: Sports Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 101.1 KEYF-FM (Spokane)
Network pre-game show 60 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KAYU-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listing)
G -   1 Kwame Vaughn, 6-3, 195, So., Oakland, CA
       (12.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals)
G -  11 Dontae Bryant, 6-2, 175, Sr., Portland, OR
       (3.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -   13 Rashad Green, 6-4, 195, So., Babylon, NY
       (6.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.4 assists, 0.7 steals)
F -    32 Angelo Caloiaro, 6-7, 225, So., San Jose, CA
       (9.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.9 assists, 0.7 steals)
F -    33 Dior Lowhorn, 6-7, 230, Sr., San Francisco, CA
        (18.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.6 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Rex Walters (Kansas, 1993)
USF RECORD:  23-35 (2nd year)  CAREER RECORD:  54-68 (4th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  2/25 at Portland.
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today.

Gonzaga University men's basketball can be heard on Sports Radio 1510 KGA and KEYF-FM 101.1. The network pre-game show begins one hour prior to tipoff. Tom Hudson returns for his eighth season behind the microphone calling the action and former Bulldog Richard Fox is back alongside Hudson as the analyst for the third season. An expanded 45-minute post-game show also follows every game. Gonzaga's radio rights are owned by IMG, the multi-media rights partner for Gonzaga University athletics, which reached a 9-year agreement with Radio Spokane to air Bulldog basketball.

KHQ-TV in Spokane and FSN will once again televise every Gonzaga University game not televised by another entity. In all, 14 regular-season games will be aired locally. Greg Heister returns for his ninth season behind the microphone as the television voice of the Bulldogs. Craig Ehlo begins his fourth season as the color commentator next to Heister. IMG, the multi-media rights partner for Gonzaga University athletics, announced a 10-year extension with KHQ-TV and FSN Northwest for broadcast of Gonzaga men's basketball and other events programming through the 2017-18 season.

The Mark Few TV Show will air every Sunday following NFL football on KHQ-TV, and every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on FSN. Greg Heister will host. The Mark Few Radio Show will air Monday from noon-1 p.m. on Sports Radio 1510 KGA unless the Bulldogs are traveling or have a game. The "GU Coaches Show" hosted by Tom Hudson will also air on 1510 KGA every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m.

Gonzaga rebounded from a disappointing conference defeat with a rout. Matt Bouldin had 18 points and five assists, and Elias Harris scored 13 points to lead Gonzaga to a 72-54 victory over Pepperdine on Saturday. Robert Sacre and Steven Gray scored 12 points apiece and Sacre added a career-high six blocks for the Bulldogs who have won 14 of 16 games. Gonzaga made its first 10 shots in building a 30-11 lead with 9:59 left in the first half. Gray scored 10 points during the game's first 4:45 and Bouldin added eight points during the run. Pepperdine's Keion Bell, the West Coast Conference's second-leading scorer, took only four shots in the first half and missed three. He finished the half with three points. The Bulldogs led by as many as 24 points, scored 28 points in the lane and 16 points off turnovers, and forced the Waves to shoot 27.1 percent for the game. Gonzaga needs one more victory to secure the top seed in the West Coast Conference tournament and at least a tie for its 10th consecutive regular-season championship. Bell finished with 17 points and tied a season best with 10 rebounds for the Waves (7-21, 3-9), who have lost nine consecutive games and 11 of 14. Mychel Thompson added 11 points. Gonzaga extended its winning streak against Pepperdine to 18 games dating from 2002. With the University of Portland's (8-4 WCC) 77-68 overtime loss at LMU Saturday night, only Saint Mary's College (9-3 WCC) stands in the way of the Bulldogs wrapping up a 10th straight WCC regular-season crown. With two games remaining the Bulldogs need one win or one SMC loss to clinch no worse than a tie for the title.

Gonzaga University concludes the West Coast Conference regular-season at home this week just one victory - or one Saint Mary's College loss - away from clinching a 10th straight WCC regular-season crown and with it the top seed into the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs host Santa Clara University Thursday at 8 p.m. and the University of San Francisco Saturday at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs (10-2) have a one-game lead over the Gaels (9-3) while the University of Portland sits in third place (8-4). Gonzaga holds the tiebreaker scenario with both SMC and the Pilots.

Gonzaga University is assured of no worse than the No. 2 seed into the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Bulldogs would have to lose both games this week and Saint Mary's College would have to win a pair to give the Gaels the outright crown and top seed. In that scenario the Bulldogs could tie for second with the University of Portland, but Gonzaga holds the tiebreaker with the Pilots so would earn the No. 2 seed. A Gonzaga split and a SMC sweep this week would leave Gonzaga and SMC tied for first, but the Zags get the tiebreaker nod buy virtue of the season sweep against the Gaels.

The series with Santa Clara University has favored Gonzaga University in this decade. The Bulldogs bring an 8-game winning streak into Thursday's game and have won 22 of the last 24 meetings. After seeing the Broncos win the decade of the 90's 13-10, Gonzaga has posted a 23-3 record thus far this decade. The last win by the Broncos was Feb. 12, 2007, when the Broncos handed Gonzaga its first loss in the McCarthey Athletic Center 83-74. SCU captured home victories in 2000 and '01. Gonzaga has not been swept by the Broncos since the 1996 season.

One more non-conference game remains for Gonzaga University when the Bulldogs host Cal State Bakersfield next Tuesday at 5 p.m. for Senior Night. Bulldogs Matt Bouldin, Will Foster and Chris Pontarolo-Maag will make their final appearances in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Gonzaga University has hit the 20-win plateau for the 13th straight season and for the 16th time in the last 17 years. Gonzaga head coach Mark Few has never not won 20 games in his 11 years on the Bulldog bench, including a 29-win season in 2002 to set a single-season mark for wins which was matched by the 2006 squad. This year's team is now 22-5.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few moved into second place on the school's all-time winningest coaches list with the Bulldogs victory Feb. 5, 2009, at the University of Portland. Few, in his 11th season, is now 286-71 and moved ahead of Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 years). Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) is the all-time leader. He picked up his 275th win Jan. 2, 2010, against the University of Illinois at the United Center in Chicago. Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 137-15, 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 Feb. 14, 2009. Carroll Williams, SCU (165-137) holds the top spot.

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 72-4 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 suffered its first loss at home this season Dec. 5 when Wake Forest University escaped with a 77-75 decision. Gonzaga's other losses were during the 2008 season to Washington State University and last year to Portland State University.

Canadians dot the 2010 Gonzaga University roster - four of them to be exact. Three of them come to the Bulldogs from the province of British Columbia to the north of Spokane. Redshirt sophomore center Robert Sacre is from North Vancouver, B.C., freshman forward Kelly Olynyk hails from Kamloops, B.C., and redshirt sophomore forward Bol Kong is from Vancouver, B.C. Mangisto "Manny" Arop is from Edmonton, Alberta, but spent the past few years in Hamilton, Ontario, while playing with NEDA, Basketball Canada's National Elite Development Academy.

Don't forget the Texans as sophomore guard Demetri Goodson and freshman guard G.J. Vilarino hail from the Lone Star State. But in a state where everything is big, these two Gonzaga University Bulldogs might prove that good things do come in small packages. Goodson, from Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, stretches the tape measure to 5-11. Vilarino, from McKinney, Texas, located almost due north of Dallas, stands 6-0.

The West Coast Conference coaches have tabbed Gonzaga University to win its 10th straight WCC regular-season title. The Bulldogs earned six first-place votes and 48 points to edge the University of Portland with the other two first-place votes and 44 points. Saint Mary's College was third with 34 points.

The nine straight West Coast Conference regular-season titles by Gonzaga University marks the longest current streak in the nation and ranks tied for fourth all-time in the NCAA Division I ranks, the Bulldogs knotting the University of Kentucky. The Wildcats won nine straight SEC crowns from 1944-52. UCLA's 13 Pacific-10 Conference titles from 1967-79 head the list.

The loss at Loyola Marymount University didn't set well with the voters as Gonzaga University fell five spots to 18th in the Associated Press Top 25 and dropped six spots to 15th in the ESPN/USA Today balloting. The University of Kansas maintained the top spot for a fourth straight week. Duke University, which defeated Gonzaga in December at Madison Square Garden, moved up one spot to sixth in both polls. Michigan State University, a 75-71 winner over Gonzaga in East Lansing in the second game of the season, dropped three more spots to 14th in both polls. The University of Wisconsin, which lost to Gonzaga in the EA Sports Maui Invitational semifinals, dropped three more spots to 17th in the AP poll and three spots to 19th in the ESPN/USA Today rankings. Wake Forest University, a two-point winner over the Bulldogs in the McCarthey Athletic Center in December, fell out of the Top 25 in both polls after entering the rankings for the first time last week. The Bulldogs have been in the ranked in at least one poll for 12 straight weeks.

Gonzaga University has extended its string of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 553. The last time the Bulldogs didn't connect from three was Jan. 27, 1993, when they went 0-for-5 at the University of Portland. UNLV holds the all-time record with 738 that started Nov. 26, 1986, through the start of the current season.

Gonzaga University shot a season-best 85.7 percent from the line against Loyola Marymount Thursday, connecting on 18-of-21 for one of the few bright spots in the 74-66 setback. The Bulldogs, shooting just 66.6 percent from the line for the season, bettered their previous best of 84.0 percent when they drained 21-of-25 against the University of Wisconsin in the semifinals of the EA Sports Mai Invitational. Thursday was just the ninth time in 26 games the Bulldogs have shot 70.0 percent or better from the free throw line in a game this season, and was the first time in six games they shot better than 70.0 percent.

After shooting its second lowest percentage for the season with 34.4 percent at Loyola Marymount University, Gonzaga University came out two nights later and hits its first 10 shots to begin the rout of Pepperdine University last Saturday. The Bulldogs finished at 52.9 percent for the game.

Since committing a season-high 21 turnovers in the 35-point loss to Duke University in December, Gonzaga University has taken better care of the basketball over the last 13 games. The Bulldogs are averaging 12.5 turnovers per game in that stretch that began with a season-low 7 turnovers at the University of Portland to begin West Coast Conference play. The Bulldogs have no more than 12 turnovers in five of their last six games.

Gonzaga University has won the battle of the boards in 14 of the last 16 games and in all but seven games this season. Despite the 72-54 rout of Pepperdine University last Saturday the Bulldogs got out-rebounded by a season-high 12 boards. But that number is skewed because Pepperdine missed 51 shots and had 26 offensive rebounds, many of them "long" rebounds that fell into the hands of the Waves. Duke University out-rebounded the Bulldogs 45-35, but since then only Saint Mary's College (34-32) and Pepperdine have been able to win the boards against the Zags. Gonzaga had a streak of 12 straight games of winning the boards snapped against the Gaels. The Bulldogs are +4.8 overall on the boards this season and +4.8 in West Coast Conference play.

Since suffering three straight losses early last season, Gonzaga University has gone 42-7. Gonzaga lost to the University of Connecticut in the Battle in Seattle, lost at home to Portland State University and fell at the University of Utah for just the third three-game losing streak in head coach Mark Few's tenure. The Zags then won 20 of their final 22 games last season and are off to a 22-5 start this season.

Gonzaga University junior Matt Bouldin has been named named to the Naismith Trophy Top 30 mid-season list as compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists from around the country. The board based its criteria on player performances this season. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is given annually to the men's college basketball player of the year. This year, the award will be presented at the NCAA Men's Final Four in Indianapolis.



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