Men's Basketball Seeks Defense Of WCC Tournament Title
Feb. 29, 2000
Game No. 30 - No. 2 Gonzaga vs. No. 7 Saint Mary's
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (21-8, 11-3 in West Coast Conference)
G - 13 Matt Santangelo, 6-1, 176, Sr., Portland, OR
SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (8-19, 3-11 in West Coast Conference)
BULLDOGS-GAELS OPEN WCC TOURNAMENT: Gonzaga University wrapped up second place and with it the No. 2 seed into the West Coast Conference Tournament with a 70-64 victory at the University of San Francisco Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs (21-8, 11-3) edged the University of San Diego by one game in the battle for second, while finishing one game behind Pepperdine University in the Bulldogs' bid for a third straight WCC regular-season title. Gonzaga will face No. 7 Saint Mary's College Saturday at noon to tip off the first tournament of the century.
GONZAGA-SMC TOURNEY HISTORY: One has to go back to just last season to find the last time Gonzaga University and Saint Mary's College met in the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Bulldogs topped the Gaels 70-57 in last year's semifinals after the 6th-seeded Gaels pulled the first upset of the tourney with a 65-60 overtime win over 3rd-seeded University of San Francisco. Gonzaga and Saint Mary's have met three times in the WCC Tournament, the Bulldogs winning all three. In addition to last year's victory, the Bulldogs took a 64-54 first-round victory in 1996 in a No. 2 vs. No. 7 matchup and captured a 69-59 semifinal victory in 1995 at Santa Clara University's on their way to their inaugural WCC Tournament title and NCAA berth. Gonzaga was the fourth seed, SMC the third seed in '95.
BULLDOGS AS NO. 2 SEED: Gonzaga University has finished in sole possession of second place three times in 21 years of West Coast Conference membership. Previous to this season, the Bulldogs finished second in 1987 at 9-5 and four games behind the University of San Diego, and again in 1993 at 10-4 and just a game behind Pepperdine University. In the 13 previous WCC Tournaments, the Bulldogs have gone in as the No. 2 seed three times. In addition to '87 and '93, Gonzaga tied Santa Clara University for the regular-season title in 1996 but lost the tiebreaker for the top seed. Gonzaga is 2-1 in first-round games as the second seed.
BULLDOGS HALT MINI SKID: Gonzaga University's win Sunday win at the University of San Francisco halted a mini-skid down the stretch by the Bulldogs, who two nights earlier had dropped an 81-70 decision at Santa Clara University that eliminated the Bulldogs from contention for a third straight No. 1 seed into the West Coast Conference Tournament. Pepperdine University's win last Saturday at Saint Mary's College gave the Waves their first WCC title since 1993. Heading into Sunday's game at USF, the Bulldogs had dropped 3-of-4 games and another loss would have tied the Bulldogs for third place with the University of San Diego and put the Bulldogs and Toreros at the mercy of a coin flip to decide the second and third seeds.
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 636 career assists for fourth all-time in the West Coast Conference. USF's Orlando Smart holds the WCC mark with 902. With 193 assists this season, Santangelo is 9 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 12 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 1,732 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 13.9 ppg in his career.
FRAHM ECLIPSES 1,500 POINT BARRIER: Senior guard Richie Frahm continues his climb up the all-time Gonzaga University points chart, and has eclipsed the 1,500 point barrier with 1,526 for 6th. He moved past Rich Evans and into 6th, Evans scoring 1,507 points from 1947-50. Frahm, who scored 504 points last season, needs 22 more points this season to pass Jerry Vermillion for fifth place. Vermillion scored 1,547 points from 1952-55.
BULLDOGS IN WCC TOURNAMENT: Gonzaga University brings a 14-11 record in West Coast Conference Tournament play into Saturday's first round game against Saint Mary's College. The Bulldogs lost their first five games in the tournament, and are 14-6 over the past eight years. Gonzaga's inaugural WCC Tournament win was a 61-48 verdict over the University of San Diego in the 1992 tourney at the University of Portland. Here's how Gonzaga has fared in the tournament:
YEAR SEED OPPONENT SCORE GU W/L 1987 #2 #7 Pepperdine 76-73 L 1988 #5 #4 Pepperdine 81-70 L 1989 #6 #3 LMU 101-98 L 1990 #8 #1 LMU 121-84 L 1991 #6 #3 San Diego 72-62 L 1992 #4 #5 San Diego 61-48 W #2 Santa Clara 54-51 W #1 Pepperdine 73-70 L 1993 #2 #7 Portland 77-57 W #3 Santa Clara 53-51 L 1994 #1 #8 LMU 91-76 W #4 San Diego 83-75 L 1995 #4 #5 San Diego 74-57 W #3 Saint Mary's 69-59 W #2 Portland 80-67 W 1996 #2 #7 Saint Mary's 64-54 W #8 Pepperdine 76-48 W #5 Portland 76-68 L 1997 #5 #4 San Diego 64-59 L 1998 #1 #8 LMU 79-78 W #7 San Diego 79-54 W #5 USF 80-67 L 1999 #1 #8 Portland 84-63 W #6 Saint Mary's 70-57 W #4 Santa Clara 91-66 W
TO'S SPELL DOOM: Gonzaga University committed 18 turnovers leading to 23 Santa Clara University points the final weekend of the regular season. The 18 miscues were the second most by the Bulldogs this season. Gonzaga had 19 turnovers in an 83-55 win over Ohio University. The Bulldogs are 3-4 this season in games in which they have had more turnovers than the opposition.
BRONCOS GO WILD FROM THREE: Santa Clara University nailed a season-high 13 3-pointers against Gonzaga University in its 81-70 win over the Bulldogs the final weekend of the regular season and shot 50.0 percent from long range. The 13 treys against the Bulldogs are a season high. The University of San Francisco hit 9 3-pointers against Gonzaga in Spokane and Loyola Marymount University connected for 9 in Los Angeles. The last team to hit 10 or more 3-pointers against Gonzaga was LMU in last year's regular-season finale in Los Angels when the Lions went 11-for-36.
GONZAGA HAS RPI OF 47: Gonzaga University is 47th in this week's RPI with a rating of .5724. 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 .6684. 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. 2 Cincinnati (both polls) and Temple University (5th in AP, 7th in ESPN/USA TODAY). Temple upended previously top-ranked Cincinnati on the Bearcats home floor.
SAGARIN RANKINGS: Through last Sunday's games, Gonzaga University was ranked 29th in the Jeff Sagarin NCAA Basketball Rankings. The Bulldogs have an 85.32 rating. The University of North Carolina is 28th at 85.44, and the University of Oregon is 30th at 85.18. The Bulldogs finished 18th last year with an 87.01 rating. The University of Cincinnati, a 75-68 winner over Gonzaga this season, is atop the Sagarin ratings with a 96.79. On a conference note, the West Coast Conference is ranked 13th with a 74.61 rating. The Big Ten Conference is No. 1 with an 84.39.
FEW JOINS ELITE FEW: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few joined an elite group of West Coast Conference coaches with his 20th victory in the Bulldogs' home finale. 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).
CALVARY LIKES THE BRONCOS: Casey Calvary has taken a liking to playing Santa Clara University, posting double-doubles in both meetings with the Broncos this season. He scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Friday for the sixth double-double of his career and the third this season. He had 21 points and 10 rebounds against SCU in the Kennel the opening weekend of West Coast Conference play. His other double-double was a 12/12 afternoon at UCLA. For of his six career double-doubles have come on the road.
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 73 of his last 82 games and in 81 of his 95 career games overall. He has blocked at least one shot in 22-of-28 games he's played this season. The junior from Tacoma, WA, had a streak of 11 straight games with at least one block halted in the regular-season finale at the University of San Francisco. 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 49 this season to rank first at 1.8/game, and has 152 blocks in his Gonzaga career.
FRAHM WCC JANUARY 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.
THE POLLS: Gonzaga University held its own in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25 this week. The Bulldogs earned 4 points in the ESPN/USA TODAY poll to rank tied for 35th with Kent State University if the poll was extended. The Bulldogs received 2 votes in the AP poll to rank tied for 39th with Bowling Green State University, Kent State, UNC and the University of Pennsylvania if the poll was extended.
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.
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 the final three games of the regular season. Included in that was a 2-for-20 slump in his two previous outings entering the home finale against Saint Mary's College. But over the last three games one of the purest shooters in the country has regained his form, going 25-for-43 for 58.1 percent. He heated up with a 10-for-14 night against the Gaels to bring the curtain down on The Kennel for the 1999-2000 campaign. On the final weekend of the regular season on the Bulldogs' Bay Area swing to Santa Clara University and the University of San Francisco, he put up a pair of 22-point outings. In those two games he went 15-for-29. In his last three games he's also gone 11-for-20 from 3-point range for 55.0 percent.
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.
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