Zags Seek To Clinch WCC Title Outright Against USF

Feb. 27, 2010

Men's Basketball Game Facts
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)
No. 18/15 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (23-5; 11-2 West Coast)
G -   3 Demetri Goodson, 5-11, 164, So., Spring, TX
       (6.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Sr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (16.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 assists, 1.6 steals)
G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-5, 208, Jr., Bainbridge, WA
       (13.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.4 blocks)
C - 00 Robert Sacre, 7-0, 247, So., North Vancouver, B.C.
       (10.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.8 blocks)
F -  20 Elias Harris, 6-8, 215, Fr., Speyer, Germany
       (15.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.5 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  287-71 (11th year - 21st at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO DONS (12-16; 7-6 West Coast) G - 1 Kwame Vaughn, 6-3, 195, So., Oakland, CA (12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals) G - 11 Dontae Bryant, 6-2, 175, Sr., Portland, OR (3.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.6 assists, 1.1 steals) G - 13 Rashad Green, 6-4, 195, So., Babylon, NY (6.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals) F - 32 Angelo Caloiaro, 6-7, 225, So., San Jose, CA (9.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals) F - 33 Dior Lowhorn, 6-7, 230, Sr., San Francisco, CA (18.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.6 blocks) HEAD COACH: Rex Walters (Kansas, 1993) USF RECORD: 23-36 (2nd year) CAREER RECORD: 54-68 (4th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 30 - CSU Bakersfield
Tuesday, March 2 - 6 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: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listing)
CSU BAKERSFIELD ROADRUNNERS (7-20; Independent)
G -  11 Donavan Bragg, 6-3, 190, Jr., Inglewood, CA
       (9.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks)
G -  22 Marcus Hall, 6-3, 185, Fr., Bakersfield, CA
       (3.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.3 steals)
G -   24 Stephon Carter, 6-3, 180, Fr., Bakersfield, CA
       (12.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.0 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.5 blocks)
F -   12 Trent Blakley, 6-4, 220, Sr., Alta Loma, CA
       (15.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F -   42 Santwon Latunde, 6-6, 262, Sr., Landover, MD
        (11.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 0.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Keith Brown (University of the Pacific, 1978)
CSB RECORD:  59-84 (5th year)  CAREER RECORD:  100-192 (10th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  2/27 at Seattle.
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.

For most of the game, it appeared Gonzaga's Steven Gray might outscore the entire Santa Clara team. Gray scored 26 points, one shy of his season and career high, and the 18th-ranked Bulldogs crushed Santa Clara 88-51 on Thursday night to clinch at least a tie for a 10th consecutive West Coast Conference regular season title, one of the longest such runs in NCAA history. When Gray scored his final points with 12:31 left, Gonzaga was leading 55-21. A late scoring surge against the Bulldogs' reserves made the final score closer than the game was. Gray was 10 of 12 from the field, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range, and had six rebounds. Gonzaga dominated from the start, limiting Santa Clara to 34 percent shooting and holding them below 30 points for most of the game. The Zags shot 57 percent and dominated the boards 43-28. Bol Kong had 12 points and Robert Sacre 11 for the Zags. Niyi Harrison and Marc Trasolini both had 13 points for Santa Clara, which lost to Gonzaga for the ninth straight time and for the 23rd time in the last 25 meetings. Robert Smith, who came in averaging more than 12 points per game, was scoreless and missed 10 shots from the field. The 37-point margin of victory was the second-largest victory for the Bulldogs over the Broncos, the Zags taking a 42-point (95-53) victory last season at home. The Bulldogs also downed SCU by 35 points (94-59) in the semifinals of last year's WCC Tournament in Las Vegas. Gonzaga leads the series 45-30. Gray made all four of his shots, including three 3-pointers, for 13 points as Gonzaga jumped to an 18-7 lead in the first 6 minutes. Gray had 19 points in the first half to outscore the Broncos as Gonzaga led 41-15. Santa Clara made just 6 of 25 shots in the first half (24 percent) and its 15 points were a season low. Gonzaga held Augustana (Ill.) to 14 first-half points earlier this season at home. Gonzaga extended its lead to 47-19 with 15:40 left, as the Broncos missed six of their first seven shots in the second half. The lead reached 65-25 with just over 8 minutes left. In the first game between these teams, Gonzaga came back from a 14-point deficit in the second half to win 71-64. In winning at least a share of a 10th consecutive WCC title, Gonzaga moved into a tie with Connecticut (1951-60 Yankee Conference) and UNLV (1983-92 Big West) for the second-longest such streak in NCAA history. UCLA is first with 13 straight Pac-10 titles from 1967-79.

With no worse than a share of a 10th straight West Coast Conference title assured, Gonzaga University goes for sole ownership of the title Saturday when the University of San Francisco visits the McCarthey Athletic Center for a 5 p.m. contest. The Bulldogs routed Santa Clara University 88-51 Thursday to run their WCC mark to 11-2, one game ahead of Saint Mary's College. Gonzaga will try to atone for an 81-77 overtime setback a month ago in San Francisco when the Dons visit for the WCC finale.

Thursday's victory Gonzaga University assured the Bulldogs the No. 1 seed in the West Coast Conference Tournament which begins March 5 in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs are seeded into Sunday's semifinals as a result of being a top two seed. The Bulldogs won't know until Saturday night who their foe will be. No. 5 plays No. 8 on Friday and the winner of that game plays No. 4 on Saturday with the survivor getting a date with the Bulldogs in Sunday's 5:30 p.m. semifinal. The championship game is Monday, March 8, at 6 p.m.

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 23-5.

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 287-71 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 138-15, 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 73-4 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.

Gonzaga University wrapped up its 10th straight West Coast Conference regular-season title, the longest current active streak in the nation and ranks tied for third all-time in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs knotted UNLV (Big West, 1983-92) and UConn (Yankee, 1951-60) for second behind UCLA's 13 Pacific-10 Conference titles from 1967-79.

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 554. 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 averaged 34.2 ppg in the first half of play through the first seven games this season and was held under 30 points four times including a season-low 17 points against Duke University. But in the last 17 games the Bulldogs are averaging 40.7 ppg and have been under 30 points just once when they held a 28-23 halftime lead at the University of Memphis. Gonzaga has scored 40 or more points in 11 of the last 17 games. Gonzaga is averaging 38.2 ppg in the first half overall this year, 40.0 ppg in the second half, including overtimes, this season.

After shooting its second lowest percentage for the season with 34.4 percent at Loyola Marymount University last week, Gonzaga University came out two nights later and hits its first 10 shots to begin the rout of Pepperdine University last Saturday and came out firing on all cylinders this past Thursday against Santa Clara University. Gonzaga shot 57.7 percent (15-for-26) in the first half against Pepperdine and shot 57.1 percent (16-for-28) in the first 20 minutes against the Broncos earlier this week.

Steven Gray single-handedly won the first half against Santa Clara University on Thursday. Gray scored 19 first-half points against the Broncos, who had just 15 at the intermission, as Gonzaga University built a 41-15 lead. The junior guard finished with 26 points, one shy of his season and career high. He went 10-for-12 from the field, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range, and 3-for-4 from the field.

Gonzaga University has won the battle of the boards in 15 of the last 17 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 had a +15 edge against Santa Clara University on Thursday. Gonzaga is +5.2 overall on the boards this season and +5.6 in West Coast Conference play.

Since suffering three straight losses early last season, Gonzaga University has gone 43-7. 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 23-5 start this season.

Gonzaga University junior Matt Bouldin has been 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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