Bulldogs Head For Maui For Three Games
Nov. 19, 2005
Game No. 2 - Maryland Terrapins
Mon., Nov. 21 - 2 p.m. PST
EA SPORTS Maui Invitational
Lahaina Civic Center - Lahaina, Maui
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No Internet Audio Available TV: ESPN2
No. 7 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (1-0; 0-0 West Coast) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 175, Jr., Vancouver, WA (19.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals) G - 4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 181, So., Montreal, Quebec (0.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.0 assists) C - 13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Sr., Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil (23.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg) F - 3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, Jr., Spokane, WA (15.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.0 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks) F - 32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 218, Jr., Spokane, WA (9.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 160-37 (7th year - 17th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
J.P. Batista scored 23 points, including three straight baskets with the game on the line, and No. 9 Gonzaga University beat stubborn University of Idaho 69-60 on Friday in the season opener for both teams. Gonzaga, riding the highest preseason ranking in its history, extended its home winning streak to 26, the longest in the nation.
The Vandals lost their sixth straight against Gonzaga, and have not beaten the Zags since 1998.
After missing all nine of their 3-point attempts in the first 25 minutes, and falling behind the Vandals at halftime, Gonzaga suddenly found the range and sank four 3s in 4 minutes.
Raivio's first 3-pointer gave the Bulldogs a 42-38 lead with 15:14 remaining. He sank two more 3's, and Morrison added another, over the next 3 minutes for a 53-43 lead with 11:49 left.
Both defenses clamped down after that, until Shepard hit a pair of 3-pointers to cut Gonzaga's lead to 59-57 with 4:36 left.
Then Batista bulled inside for three quick baskets as Gonzaga took a 65-59 lead with 2:08 left, and the Bulldogs were able to hang on as Idaho began to foul.
Idaho took a surprising 34-33 halftime lead, outscoring the Zags 11-3 in the final 4 minutes and scoring 14 points off turnovers.
Gonzaga will make its second trip to the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in the last four seasons as the Bulldogs join a basketball "Who's Who" in what is considered the strongest Maui field ever. Joining the Bulldogs are Maryland, the first-round opponent for Gonzaga on Monday; Michigan State, which is also in Gonzaga's half of the bracket; Arizona; Kansas; Connecticut; Arkansas, and Chaminade, the host school and the MSU's first-round foe on the Gonzaga half of the bracket.
The last time Gonzaga played in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in 2002 the Bulldogs, ranked 20th in the country, went 1-2 against a tough field. After defeating Utah 71-52 in the opening round, Gonzaga fell to No. 19 Indiana 76-75 and to No. 15 Kentucky 80-72. The Bulldogs trailed Indiana by 17 points with 3:22 remaining and cut the deficit to two with less than 15 seconds to go. After a Hoosier free throw pushed the lead to three, Gonzaga's Blake Stepp missed a trey and Winston Brooks put in the rebound for the final margin. Gonzaga trailed the Wildcats 62-49 with 7:20 to play following a 12-0 Kentucky run, and once again the Bulldogs rallied to cut the deficit to 74-70 with 39 ticks left. But Kentucky scored the next six points to hold off the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga and Maryland are no strangers when it comes to the basketball court. Gonzaga's inaugural appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1995 was against the Terrapins in Salt Lake City. The Terps were ranked 10th in the country and had Player of the Year Joe Smith. While Gonzaga's Jason Rubright held Smith to 9 points for his second-lowest point total of the season and a season-low 4 rebounds, the rest of the Maryland arsenal was too much in an 87-63 victory. It would be 18 years before the Bulldogs would get a shot at revenge. Gonzaga competed in the 2003 BB&T Classic in Washington, D.C., and met the host Terrapins in the first round. The Bulldogs were victorious 82-68 and went on to defeat George Washington in the title game of the tournament 96-91. Adam Morrison helped key a 15-5 run against Maryland with a 3-pointer and a dunk as the Bulldogs raced to a 64-49 lead, Morrison finishing with 18 points.
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few and Maryland counterpart Gary Williams have developed quite a friendship. Both were in attendance at the 2002 John R. Wooden Award as both coaches had players represented on that year's Top Five All-America squad. The Bulldogs were represented by Dan Dickau and the Terrapins by Juan Dixon. Williams has also been to Spokane to participate in the Coaches vs. Cancer BasketBALL and Gala that has raised more than $1 million the past four years.
Gonzaga has played every team in this year's EA SPORTS Maui Invitational with the exception of Arkansas. The Bulldogs are 0-2 against Arizona, 1-0 versus Chaminade, 0-1 against Connecticut, 0-1 against Kansas, 1-1 versus Maryland and 0-2 against Michigan State. The Bulldogs have played Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland and Michigan State in NCAA Tournament games in the last 10 years.
Junior Adam Morrison is closing in on the 1,000-point club at Gonzaga, entering the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational with 956 career points. He'll become the 28th member of the elite club. He'll also become the second straight member to join the club as a junior, Ronny Turiaf joining the 1,000-point ranks as a junior in 2004. Turiaf ended his career last year with 1,723 career points, good for fourth all-time. Frank Burgess, who had his No. 44 retired last season, is Gonzaga's all-time leader with 2,196 points from 1959-61.
Gonzaga did not have the services of junior Erroll Knight, the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, or redshirt freshman Josh Heytvelt in Friday's season opener. Knight had a knee scope on Nov. 8. He was diagnosed with crushed cartilage on the femur. The frayed cartilage was repaired. It's unknown when Knight will return to action. Heytvelt has been battling a sore foot that was the precursor to a stress fracture. Although he didn't play against Idaho, he is improving and there is some optimism among the coaching and training staffs that he may be able to see some action in Maui. The Bulldogs did get some good news when Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes was able to return to action against Idaho after sitting out the final exhibition game with mild tendonitis in an ankle. He started against the Vandals in Knight's spot.
Gonzaga has not lost back-to-back games since the 2002-03 season when the Bulldogs lost Dec. 28, 2002, against Stanford 81-71 in the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland, Calif., and Dec. 31, 2002, at home to Saint Joseph's 79-78 in overtime. Gonzaga has played 83 games since that Saint Joseph's loss without losing back-to-back games.
Gonzaga is ranked ninth this week in the Associated Press Top 25 and was seventh in the USA Today preseason Top 25. The Bulldogs are 88-16 when ranked, including 24-5 last season. The Bulldogs are 38-0 at home when ranked, 32-6 away and 18-10 on a neutral court.
Entering the 2006 season, Gonzaga has taken over the top spot as the "Best in the West" from 1992-05. The Bulldogs 328 victories and .747 winning percentage in that span are both tops among the 30 schools on the West Coast (states of Washington, Oregon and California) that play NCAA Division I basketball. Stanford is second in both categories with 310 and .714, respectively, while UCLA is third with 299 and .682. Stanford and UCLA share the top spot with most post-season appearances at 12, with the Bulldogs right behind with 11.
Because of a contractual agreement between the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational and ESPN, there will be no webcasting of Gonzaga's radio broadcasts from Maui. The games can be heard on radio in the Spokane market on 1510 KGA with Tom Hudson calling the action. Webcasting of Gonzaga's radio broadcasts will resume Nov. 30 when Gonzaga returns home to face Portland State.
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