Bulldogs End Regular Season With Senior Night Festivities
March 2, 2010
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)
No. 18/14 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (24-5; 12-2 West Coast) G - 4 Chris Pontarolo-Maag, 5-11, 175, Sr., Quincy, WA (0.0 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 0.2 assists) G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Sr., Highlands Ranch, CO (16.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 assists, 1.5 steals) G - 32 Steven Gray, 6-5, 208, Jr., Bainbridge, WA (13.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks) C - 45 Will Foster, 7-5, 273, Sr., Bonney Lake, WA (1.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.3 assists, 0.8 blocks) F - 20 Elias Harris, 6-8, 215, Fr., Speyer, Germany (15.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 288-71 (11th year - 21st at GU) CAREER RECORD: SameNOTE: 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.
San Francisco may have a losing record, but they Dons sure seem to give fits to the class of the West Coast Conference. Elias Harris scored 17 points, Robert Sacre had 13 points and seven blocks, and Gonzaga survived another upset bid by San Francisco, winning 75-69 on Saturday night to wrap up its 10th straight league title. Tall praise, considering the Dons are just 12-17 and 7-7 in the West Coast Conference. San Francisco will have to win next week's league tournament in Las Vegas, which will probably run right through Gonzaga, to keep playing in the postseason. San Francisco shocked the Zags 81-77 in overtime on Jan. 30, one of only eight conference losses in the last six seasons for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga has not been swept by a conference foe since San Diego did it in 1996-97. San Francisco pulled within 72-69 on Moustapha Diarra's putback with 18.9 seconds left, and it looked like the Dons were ready to make some history. But they were forced to foul and did not score again, while Gonzaga put things away from the foul line. Steven Gray finished with 15 points for Gonzaga (24-5, 12-2), which gave up 14 offensive rebounds to keep the Dons in the game. San Francisco shot 42 percent from the field, too, but missed eight of 22 free throws - all of them in the second half. Harris scored seven straight points for a 49-40 lead early in the second half, but Angelo Caloiaro hit a 3-pointer and a lay-in to help the Dons close to 52-49. Harris' 3-pointer gave Gonzaga a 63-53 lead with 8 minutes left, but San Francisco did not fold, and 3-pointers by Caloiaro and Dontae Bryant made it 68-63 with 3:33 remaining. Two free throws by Dior Lowhorn and a basket by Diarra cut the lead to 70-67. Gray hit a pair of free throws with 1:41 left, and Lowhorn shot a long airball on the other end. Diarra put back Kwame Vaughn's missed shot to cut Gonzaga's lead to 72-69 with 18.9 seconds left. San Francisco fouled on the inbounds play, and Sacre made one of two for a 73-69 lead. The Dons ran off more than 10 seconds before Vaughn was called for charging on a drive to give Gonzaga the ball with 5 seconds left. San Francisco opened the game by picking up right where they left off the first time they played the Zags, taking a 16-6 lead in the first seven minutes. But the Zags scored 14 straight points to take the lead. The teams traded baskets until the Dons scored three unanswered buckets to tie the score at 31 with 2:14 left. The Zags led 35-33 at halftime. Matt Bouldin had 11 points for the Zags, who shot 52 percent.
Gonzaga University wrapped up the West Coast Conference title outright with Saturday's victory over the University of San Francisco, the Bulldogs 10th straight WCC regular-season title and its 14th since 1994. The Bulldogs won their inaugural title in 1994, tied for the crown in 1996 and took back-to-back titles for the first time in 1998-99. Mark Few saw his Bulldogs go 11-3 and finish second in his first season at the helm, but since then it's been all Bulldogs. The Zags have captured the title outright in nine of those 10 years, knotting Pepperdine University at 13-1 in 2002, Few's third year as head coach.
The regular season comes to a close Tuesday when Cal State Bakersfield visits the McCarthey Athletic Center for a 6 p.m. non-conference Senior Night game. Bulldogs Matt Bouldin, Will Foster and Chris Pontarolo-Maag will make their final home appearance.
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 24-5.
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 288-71 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 139-15, 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 74-4 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 were fairly accurate on their pre-season poll. They correctly picked Gonzaga (1), San Francisco (4) and San Diego (6). They had Portland (2) and Saint Mary's (3), flip-flopped. They picked San Francisco fourth, the Dons tying for that spot, and picked San Diego sixth, the Toreros in a three-way tie for that position.
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 second 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.
A home sweep last weekend to bring the curtain down on West Coast Conference play didn't impress the voters too much, Gonzaga University remaining 18th in the Associated Press Top 25 and moving up just one notch to 14th in the ESPN/USA Today balloting. In another week of Top 10 - and top-ranked - upsets, Syracuse University moved to the forefront of both polls, displacing the University of Kansas who fell out after a one-month reign at the top. Duke University, which defeated Gonzaga in December at Madison Square Garden, moved up two spots in AP and one spot in ESPN/USA Today to fourth in both polls. Michigan State University, a 75-71 winner over Gonzaga in East Lansing in the second game of the season, jumped three spots to 11th in AP and two spots to 12th in ESPN/USA Today. The University of Wisconsin, which lost to Gonzaga in the EA Sports Maui Invitational semifinals, dropped rose two spots in both polls, checking in at No. 15 in AP and No. 17 in ESPN/USA Today. The Bulldogs have been in the ranked in at least one poll for 13 straight weeks.
Gonzaga University has extended its string of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 555. 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.
Sophomore Robert Sacre, who played just five games last season before being sidelined with a foot injury, has been on a blocked shot tear lately, swatting away 25 shots in his last eight games. He had a career-high 6 blocks at Pepperdine University and four on two other occasions in the current streak. He has moved into a tie for fifth with Austin Daye on the single-season list with 54 blocks, four shy of moving past Casey Calvary and into third. Calvary holds the third and fourth spots with 57 in 1999 and again in 2000. Sacre has 62 career blocks, leaving him 10 shy of moving into the career Top 10. Daye, drafted in the 15th round of the NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons last season as a junior, is the single-season leader with 70 while Calvary is the career leader with 207.
With last weekend's home sweep to put the finishing touches on a 7-0 home season in West Coast Conference play, Gonzaga University 2will take a 22-game WCC home winning streak into 2011. The Bulldogs have gone undefeated at home three straight seasons and won their final home game of 2007 after losing to Santa Clara University 84-73. The Zags are 104-6 in WCC home games since the last time they lost two WCC home games in the same season. The Bulldogs dropped back-to-back games in their conference home openers in 1995, falling to Santa Clara University 73-68 in overtime Jan. 19 and 68-63 to Saint Mary's Jan. 21. The Bulldogs downed Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University in their next homestand and went on to win their last five WCC home games that year to begin their current home dominance.
Gonzaga University has won the battle of the boards in 15 of the last 18 games and in all but seven games this season. The Bulldogs have been out-rebounded in just two of their five losses this season - 44-38 at Michigan State University and 45-35 in a loss to Duke University at Madison Square Garden. The Zags have been out-rebounded in two of their last three games - 48-36 at Pepperdine University and 33-30 last Saturday against the University of San Francisco. The Pepperdine numbers are skewed as the Waves missed 51 shots and grabbed 26 offensive boards. Gonzaga is +4.9 overall on the boards this season and +5.0 in West Coast Conference play.
Since suffering three straight losses early last season, Gonzaga University has gone 44-7. 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 24-5 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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