Bulldogs Host Santa Clara Monday
March 2, 2008
Game No. 30 - Santa Clara
Monday, March 3 - 8:30 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2 (Big Monday)
No. 24/NR GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (23-6; 12-1 West Coast) G - 2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, Jr., Chicago, IL (11.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 6.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.3 blocks) G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 214, So., Highlands Ranch, CO (13.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals) G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-4, 190, Fr., Bainbridge, WA (7.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals) C - 31 Abdullahi Kuso, 6-9, 241, Sr., Kaduna, Nigeria (6.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.5 steals, 1.1 blocks) F - 25 David Pendergraft, 6-6, 223, Sr., Brewster, WA (9.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.8 steals) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 234-58 (9th year - 19th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same>br>
The No. 1 seed into the West Coast Conference Tournament and no worse than a share of their eighth straight WCC regular-season title - and 10th in the last 11 seasons - in their possession, 24th-ranked Gonzaga University will now try to claim the crown outright and send seniors David Pendergraft and Abduallhi Kuso out a winner Monday when the Bulldogs host Santa Clara University at 8:30 p.m. at the McCarthey Athletic Center as part of Big Monday on ESPN2. Pendergraft, from Brewster, Wash., and Kuso, from Kaduna, Nigeria, will be making their final home appearances. The Bulldogs topped Saint Mary's College Saturday 88-76 in the inaugural WCC meeting of ranked teams since the inception of the conference Jan. 2, 1953. SMC was ranked 25th by Associated Press, 23rd by USA Today/ESPN.
Jeremy Pargo scored all 18 of his points in the second half and No. 24 Gonzaga University beat No. 25 Saint Mary's 88-76 Saturday night to break a tie for first place in the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga avenged its only league loss this season. Matt Bouldin led Gonzaga with 21 points - 14 in the first half - as the Bulldogs won for the 13th time in the past 16 games. The losses were to No. 1 Tennessee, No. 2 Memphis and Saint Mary's. Daimon Simpson led Saint Mary's (24-5, 11-2) with 25 points, while Patrick Mills added 20. In a fast-paced game with 17 lead changes, the Gaels were undone by making only three of their first 16 3-point attempts, although they recovered to finish 7-of-23. Gonzaga shot 51 percent in the game, making 8-of-15 3-pointers to maintain the 10-point lead they built during a run midway through the second half. Eight lead changes in the opening five minutes of the second half left Saint Mary's with a 48-47 lead. Then Bouldin and Pargo hit consecutive 3-pointers, Josh Heytvelt completed a three-point play and Pargo made a layup for an 11-0 run that opened a 58-48 lead for Gonzaga with 13:24 left. After Mills' 3-pointer closed the Saint Mary's deficit to 61-55, Pargo hit a pair of short jumpers to rebuild a 65-55 lead. Tron Smith hit a 3-pointer and two free throws to cut Gonzaga's lead to 77-71 with 3 minutes left. But Pargo hit a pair of free throws and a field goal and Abdullahi Kuso had a stuff to rebuild the lead to 83-73.
In the first meeting between Gonzaga University and Santa Clara University this season, a pair of freshmen helped the Zags to an 87-82 double-overtime victory. Austin Daye scored 13 of his career-high 22 points in overtime, including the go-ahead basket, and freshman Steven Gray, who scored 16 points, made a pair of free throws with 0.3 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime as the Bulldogs staved off the upset bid. Santa Clara's Andrew Zimmerman's short basket with three seconds left forced the second overtime. SCU was all set to celebrate its second straight regular-season upset over the Bulldogs after Bryant blocked a shot in the final four seconds to preserve a two-point lead. All that remained was for the Broncos to inbound a pass and run out the clock. A long pass was tipped in the backcourt and Gray was fouled by Brody Angley to set the stage for the tying shots. SCU made 12 of its first 16 shots of the second half and held a 61-54 advantage going into the final four minutes. The Bulldogs closed to within 63-61 when Daye hit a 3-pointer with 1:32 left. The Broncos worked the clock, grabbing a key offensive rebound, down to 19 seconds before freshman Ben Dowdell was fouled by Daye during a loose ball. Dowdell missed both foul attempts. Matt Bouldin grabbed the rebound to set up the tying free throws.
Gonzaga University had its 50-game home winning streak - at the time the longest current streak in the NCAA Division I ranks - snapped last season by Santa Clara University, the Broncos' 84-73 victory handing the Bulldogs their inaugural loss in the McCarthey Athletic Center after 39 games since moving into the new building for the 2004-05 season. The Zags won their final 12 games in the old Kennel prior to moving into the McCarthey Athletic Center. GU is 12-1 at home this season, the lone loss to Washington State University, and is 51-2 overall in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Think Gonzaga University hasn't played a tough schedule? The combined record of the teams who have handed the Bulldogs their six losses is 135-38 for a winning percentage of 78.0 percent. The University of Memphis (28-1) leads the way as four of the six teams have already won 20 or more games through contests of Sunday. In addition, the Bulldogs have also defeated the University of Connecticut, ranked 15th by Associated Press and 16th in the USA Today/ESPN poll this week.
It's time to start checking the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) as the second half of West Coast Conference action winds down and teams start eyeing the WCC Tournament and subsequent NCAA Tournament berths. Gonzaga enters Monday's game with an RPI of 31 through games of Saturday. The Bulldogs strength of schedule is 93. Of the other two schools among the top three in the WCC, Saint Mary's College has an RPI of 32 and a SOS of 128, while the University of San Diego has an RPI of 106 and a SOS of 94. The West Coast Conference is 14th in the conference RPI, but the WCC is ranked second in the non-conference strength of schedule.
With a 23-6 record, Gonzaga University has won 20 games for the 11th straight season and for the 14th time in the last 15 seasons. Gonzaga (12-1) has also hit double-digit wins in West Coast Conference play for the 11th straight year and for the 12th time in the last 13 campaigns.
Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 489. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland. UNLV holds the all-time streak of 668 entering this season.
Junior Jeremy Pargo is in the Top 10 on the Gonzaga University career charts for assists and steals. His 403 career assists rank fourth behind Matt Santangelo (668), Blake Stepp (640) and John Stockton (554). The Gonzaga co-captain is seventh in career steals with 119. Pargo also has 844 career points as he bids to become the 30th Bulldog to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Gonzaga University is in search of its 10th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs current streak of nine straight appearances ranks the Bulldogs tied for sixth for consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with the University of Florida, University of Texas and University of Wisconsin.
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 51-2 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.
There might be some magic in that No. 5 jersey freshman Austin Daye is wearing - especially when it comes to the free throw line. Daye is 84-for-94 for 89.4 percent from the stripe this season. He was ranked fourth nationally at 91.8 percent through games of Thursday when the latest rankings were compiled. Daye went an uncharacteristic 6-for-9 Saturday against Saint Mary's College, only the second time this season he's missed more than two free throws in a game. Derek Raivio, who wore No. 5 throughout his Gonzaga career, is one of the most prolific free throw shooters in NCAA history. He finished his career hitting 92.7 percent from the line and holds the top three single-season percentage marks in school history. Raivio went 148-for-154 for 96.1 percent to lead the NCAA Division I ranks in percentage a year ago and ranks second all-time on the NCAA single-season list. For his career he went 343-for-370 for 92.7 percent to rank second in the NCAA based on a minimum of 300 free throws made and 2.5 free throws made/game. Raivio set the Gonzaga record of 56 consecutive free throws. Daye had 29 straight makes this season.
Head coach Mark Few picked up his 225th career victory Jan. 19 against the University of San Diego. With 234 victories, Few is third on the all-time Gonzaga victories chart behind Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) and Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 seasons). Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 112-13 and is tied for third on the all-time WCC wins list with Fitzgerlad (112-88). Carroll Williams, Santa Clara University (165-137) and Dick Davey, SCU (122-88) hold the top two spots.
Gonzaga University holds a 37-30 edge over Santa Clara University in the all-time series, the Bulldogs winning 20 of the last 23 meetings. If the seeds hold in the upcoming West Coast Conference Tournament, the two clubs will meet again next Sunday in the semifinals. Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed, SCU the No. 4 seed and are in the same half of the bracket.
Gonzaga University men's basketball coach Mark Few added three players to his charges for the 2008-09 season with the signing of three players to letters-of-intent. Andy Poling, 6-11, 230-pound forward from Westview High in Portland, Ore.; Grant Gibbs, 6-5, 190-pound guard from Linn-Mar High in Marion, Iowa, and Demetri Goodson, 6-0, 175-pound guard from Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, made their intentions official to become Bulldogs on the first day of national letter-of-intent signing day. All three had previously made verbal commitments. Poling averaged 13.9 ppg last season to rank fifth in the Metro League in scoring while leading the Wildcats to a 21-8 overall record and 8-2 second-place Metro League finish. He was named honorable mention All-State 6A in Westview's first season in the newly-created State 6A classification. He was also voted first-team All-Metro League for the Wildcats, ranked seventh in the state heading into the State 6A Tournament where they lost their first two games. Poling was rated one of the 20 best centers in the country by one scouring service. Gibbs averaged 15.0 ppg, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rpg as Linn-Mar captured the Iowa State 4A title last spring. He had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the quarterfinal win over Sioux City North; 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 7 steals in the semifinal victory over Urbandale, and scored 15 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and had a pair of assists and steals in the title game against Bettendorf to cap a 24-1 season. He finished third in tournament scoring with 45 points and tied for fourth with 21 rebounds in earning All-Tournament honors. Goodson helped lead Klein Collins to the Region 2 title game last season while averaging 16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 7.0 assists/game. He was an All-State 5A selection, the largest classification in Texas. Goodson was rated as high as the 135th best player in the country by one scouting service.
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