Bulldogs End Homestand Against Highlanders

Nov. 16, 2007

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 3 - UC Riverside
Saturday, November 17 - 5 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); KSTW-TV CW Seattle (check local listing
No. 14 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (2-0; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, Jr., Chicago, IL
       (15.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 assists)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 214, So., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (12.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 assists)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 190, Jr., Kirkland, WA
       (5.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.0 assists, 2.5 steals)
F -  25 David Pendergraft, 6-6, 223, Sr., Brewster, WA
       (6.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals)
F -  31 Abdullahi Kuso, 6-9, 241, Sr., Kaduna, Nigeria
      (8.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  213-52 (9th year - 19th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

UC RIVERSIDE HIGHLANDERS (0-3; 0-0 Big West) G - 2 Aaron Scott, 6-4, 200, Jr., Oakland, CA (6.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.7 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.3 blocks) G - 11 Jalonni Diggs, 6-1, 195, Fr., Los Angeles, CA (6.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.3 assists, 0.7 steals) G - 32 Larry Cunningham, 6-2, 190, Sr., Downey, CA (18.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 13 Sean Cunningham, 6-3, 190, So., Los Angeles, CA (7.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 31 Christian Solo, 6-8, 220, Jr., Caguas, Puerto Rico (0.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks) HEAD COACH: Jim Wooldridge (Louisiana Tech, 1977) UCR RECORD: 0-3 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: 312-240 (25th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 4 - Western Kentucky
Thursday, November 22 - 8:30 p.m. PST
Great Alaska Shootout
Sullivan Arena - Anchorage, AK
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPNU
WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS (2-0; 0-0 Sun Belt)
G -   3 Tyrone Brazelton, 6-0, 180, Sr., Chicago, IL
      (15.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 3.0 assists)
G -   4 A. J. Slaughter, 6-3, 180, So., Shelbyville, KY
      (3.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals)
F -  23 Mike Walker, 6-7, 220, Sr., Macon, GA
      (6.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.0 blocks)
F -  32 Courtney Lee, 6-5, 200, Sr., Indianapolis, IN
      (27.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 assists, 4.0 steals, 1.0 blocks)
F -  35 D.J. Magley, 6-9, 260, Fr., Bradenton, FL
      (2.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals)
HEAD COACH:  Darrin Horn (Western Kentucky, 1995)
WKU RECORD:  84-41 (5th year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  11/17 vs. Murray State.

Gonzaga University held home court advantage with a tenacious second half defense to defeat the University of Idaho 80-43 Tuesday at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs led just 36-30 at halftime, but the Vandals shot just 5-for-24 from the field in the second half on the way to scoring just 13 points. Leading 48-37 in the second half, Gonzaga went on a 21-0 run to open a 69-37 lead with 5:19 remaining. Idaho had just two points in one 12-minute stretch of the second half.

The 13 points Gonzaga University allowed in the second half Tuesday against the University of Idaho was one of the Bulldogs better defensive efforts in the last six years. The University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff scored just 15 points in the second half in a 92-42 Gonzaga win Nov. 29, 2001. The University of San Francisco scored just 16 points in the first half of a 92-50 Bulldog victory on Jan. 15, 2004.

Gonzaga University plays its third straight home game to open the season Saturday when UC Riverside visits for a 5 p.m. contest in the sold out McCarthey Athletic Center. The Highlanders are 0-3, dropping a 59-51 contest at nearby Eastern Washington University on Thursday. UCR led the Eagles by as many as 14 points in the first half, but scored just 18 second-half points.

Saturday's game against UC Riverside will be the last home game for the Bulldogs until Dec. 5 when ninth-ranked Washington State University visits the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs will be at the Great Alaska Shootout for three games Nov. 22-24, play at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia Nov. 29 and meet the University of Connecticut in Boston in the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge Dec. 1. Unlike last season when the Bulldogs had just one home game in the month of December, Gonzaga will be home four times this year.

Sophomore Larry Gurganious showed how valuable he can be to Gonzaga University's success with his three steals and career-high seven rebounds against the University of Idaho. His defense helped the Bulldogs build the 36-30 halftime lead in a less-than-inspiring first half. Gurganious sat out last season with a back injury but has come back healthy this season. He's averaging 9.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 3.0 steals/game through the first two outings. He's also hit 7-of-11 shots from the field for 63.6 percent. He's averaging 24.0 minutes/game, giving the Bulldogs a big boost off the bench.

Gonzaga University is 14th in both of the major polls again this week, beginning the season there in the pre-season balloting. The Bulldogs garnered 779 points in the Associated Press Top 25, and 320 in the USA Today/ESPN balloting. Gonzaga claimed the No. 14 spot all alone in the USA Today/ESPN poll after being knotted with Texas A&M in the pre-season rankings. Texas A&M fell to 15th. Gonzaga returned to the preseason poll for the first time since 2005 when the Bulldogs were 7th in the ESPN/USA TODAY balloting and 8th in the AP voting. The Bulldogs got as high as 16th in the ESPN/USA TODAY poll and as high as 18th in the AP balloting last year. Gonzaga fell out of both polls on Christmas Day last year and never climbed back in to the Top 25 in a 23-11 season that included a ninth-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The University of North Carolina edged UCLA for the top spot in both polls.

Three teams on the Gonzaga University schedule remain ranked in the Top 10 of both polls again this week. The Bulldogs will travel to No. 3 University of Memphis Jan. 25, play No. 7 University of Tennessee in The Battle in Seattle Dec. 29 and host 9th-ranked Washington State University Dec. 5 in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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 41-1 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.

Austin Daye continued to enjoy success early in his collegiate career, the true freshman leading the Bulldogs in scoring in each of the first two games. He scored 20 points in the season opener against the University of Montana, then came back with 18 (largely on the strength of a 12-for-16 nights from the field) to lead all scorers Tuesday against the University of Idaho. His six blocked shots marked the sixth time a Bulldog has blocked six shots in a game since 2002, Abdullahi Kuso and Josh Heytvelt last year the last.

Junior Josh Heytvelt and freshman Steven Gray will have their seasons interrupted by surgery. Heytvelt, who has been fighting a stress fracture in his right ankle all fall, underwent surgery last Monday to insert screws into the ankle. Gray, who suffered a fractured wrist in last Wednesday's exhibition game against Emporia State University, underwent surgery Tuesday to insert a pin in the wrist. In both cases, the surgery is expected to speed up the healing process rather than just casting both Heytvelt's ankle and Gray's wrist and letting time heal the injuries.

Sophomore Will Foster is back in uniform. The 7-4 center was scheduled to redshirt this season, but Josh Heytvelt's surgery has brought Foster back to active status. Foster was on the bench in street clothes in the exhibition opener, but saw action against both the University of Montana and University of Idaho. "We wouldn't have played him against Montana if Robert (Sacre) and (Abdullahi) Kuso hadn't got into early foul trouble," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "But now that's he's played we'll continue to use him in certain situations. He showed last year he can help us."

Gonzaga University redshirt freshman Theo Davis arrived back in Spokane Tuesday afternoon and was in uniform for Tuesday's contest against the University of Idaho. He played two minutes and got quite a reaction from the crowd with his first points as a Bulldog. He missed the season opener against the University of Montana when he returned home following a stroke suffered by his father.

Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 460. 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 638 entering this season.

It's still early in the season, but Gonzaga University is out rebounding opponents by 15 a game through the first two outings. Gonzaga is averaging 44.0 rpg to 29.0 rpg for the opposition.

Gonzaga University is shooting 54.8 percent (57-for-104) from the field thus far, but only 27.3 percent (6-for-22) from 3-point range. Opponents are hitting just 30.9 percent from the field (34-for-110) and 22.7 percent (10-for-44) from beyond the arc.

Gonzaga University juniors Jeremy Pargo and Josh Heytvelt have been named to the preseason watch lists for a pair of prestigious All-American men's basketball honors. Pargo, a native of Chicago, Ill., is one of 50 players named to the John R. Wooden Award as selected by the Los Angeles Athletic Club's Wooden Award Committee. Heytvelt, who hails from Clarkston, Wash., was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy as selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Pargo becomes the eighth Bulldog selected as a Wooden candidate. Adam Morrison was a 2006 John R. Wooden Top Five All-America selection, Dan Dickau was so honored in 2002 as Gonzaga's inaugural Wooden Award Top Five honoree, and Blake Stepp (2004) and Casey Calvary (2001) were named Wooden Award Top 10 All-Americans. Heytvelt is the second Bulldog in three years under consideration for the Naismith. Morrison was one of the five finalists in 2006.

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, 30-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.

Gonzaga University edged Saint Mary's College as the favorite to capture their eighth consecutive regular-season West Coast Conference crown in the 2007-08 WCC men's basketball coaches' pre-season poll. The Zags tallied 61 points and received five first-place votes. Just two points behind Gonzaga is Saint Mary's with 59 overall points and the other three first-place votes.

 

 

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