St. John's On Gonzaga Thanskgiving Day Menu
Nov. 20, 2001
Game No. 3 - St. John's
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (1-1, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY RED STORM (1-0, 0-0 in Big East Conference)
Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout
Friday, Nov. 23 - 3 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 2:45 or 6:15 p.m. PST
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LONGHORNS (0-1, 0-0 in Big 12 Conference)
OREGON STATE UNIIVERSITY (1-0, 0-0 in Pacific-10 Conference)
BULLDOGS WIN HOME OPENER: Less than 48 hours after suffering a season-opening loss at second-ranked University of Illinois, Gonzaga University returned home Sunday to the friendly confines of The Kennel and downed the University of Montana 83-63 in the home opener. The Bulldogs, who won their 13th straight home opener and their 18th straight home game against a non-conference opponent, increased a 44-32 halftime lead to as much as 20 late in the game and coasted to the victory. Zach Gourde paced the offense with 21 points, one shy of his career high, while he got second-half assistance from Dan Dickau, Ronny Turiaf and Alex Hernandez. Gourde scored 11 of his points in the second half, finishing the afternoon 9-for-15 from the field. He also grabbed 9 rebounds. Dickau, held scoreless in the opening 20 minutes, scored 11 second-half points after missing all five of his first-half shots, four from 3-point range. Hernandez tallied 7 points in the second half and Turiaf scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half as the duo combined for 26 of Gonzaga's 34 points off the bench.
TURKEY DAY RE-MATCH WITH RED STORM: Gonzaga University heads north to Alaska this week to compete in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout. The Bulldogs' Thanksgiving Day opponent St. John's University is no stranger, and you can bet the Red Storm will have revenge on their minds. The Bulldogs upset 9th-ranked St. John's 82-76 in the NCAA Second Round in Tucson, Ariz., on March 18, 2000. That win put Gonzaga into the Sweet Sixteen for the second straight year coming off an Elite Eight appearance the previous season. Senior guard Matt Santangelo scored 26 points against the second-seeded Red Storm, making 6-of-10 3-pointers. Santangelo helped the Bulldogs break from a 54-54 tie with three treys in the final eight minutes. Three current Bulldogs were a part of that 2000 team - Germayne Forbes, Zach Gourde and Jay Sherrell. Forbes sat out the season after the NCAA ruled him a non-qualifier that allowed him to practice but not play, Sherrell missed the entire season with leg pain and took a medical redshirt, and Gourde scored 6 points and grabbed 3 rebounds against St. John's as a freshman. Thursday's game will be televised on ESPN at 9 p.m. PST, with radio coverage on 1510 KGA in Spokane beginning at 8:45 p.m. PST. Gonzaga is 1-1 all time against St. John's, losing 97-69 during the 1960-61 season during an Midwest/East Coast swing that saw the Bulldogs stop in Detroit, Providence, St. John's and Xavier.
SECOND-ROUND FOE: Thursday's other first-round match-up in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout has Oregon State University meeting the University of Texas. Gonzaga will get the winner or loser of that game Friday. It would be the first meeting between the Bulldogs and the Longhorns. The Bulldogs and Beavers, on the other hand, have met 11 times previously with OSU winning them all. The last meeting was a 74-65 OSU win on Jan. 7, 1991, in Corvallis, Ore. OSU assistant coach Scott Didrickson served one year on the Gonzaga staff for the 1997-98 campaign.
LUCKY 13: Freshman Ronny Turiaf of Le Robert, Martinique found 13 to be his lucky number Sunday against the University of Montana. He scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for his first career double-double in just his second collegiate game.
FINDING THE RANGE: After hitting 8-of-16 free throw attempts against the University of Illinois in the season opener, Gonzaga University heated up from the stripe Sunday at home against the University of Montana. The Bulldogs connected on 22-of-29 throws for 75.9 percent. The Bulldogs, who hit on just 68.1 percent of their free throw last season, had the trend carry over into the two exhibition games this season, Gonzaga going 16-for-29 for 55.2 percent against Brewster Packing and 24-for-41 against the Delta Jammers for 58.5 percent. For the two preseason contests Gonzaga went 40-for-70 for 57.1 percent. Illinois won Friday's game at the line with a 30-for-38 effort.
USA BASKETBALL MATES COULD BE FOES: If Gonzaga University faces the University of Texas in Friday's second round of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, the game will feature two players who were teammates on last summer's USA Basketball squad that won the bronze medal at the World University Games in Beijing. Gonzaga guard Dan Dickau and Texas forward Chris Owens could meet again - as opponents. Owens started all six games and averaged 10.3 ppg, while Dickau came off the bench to averaged 4.8 ppg. Dickau had a tournament best 11 points in pool play against South Africa, and 10 points in a quarterfinal win over South Korea. Gonzaga's Germayne Forbes was also a part of the World University Games as the London, England, native represented Great Britain.
THE LAST TIME UP NORTH: Gonzaga University would like to duplicate its last trip to Alaska. The Bulldogs ventured to Fairbanks for the 1997 Top of the World Classic and downed Tulsa University, Mississippi State University and then 5th-ranked Clemson University to win the crown. The Bulldogs defeated Clemson 84-71 in the title game, shooting 63.6 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Matt Santangelo scored 19 points and was named MVP. The win over Clemson was the Bulldogs' inaugural win over a ranked opponent. "That tournament started us on this little run we've been on," current head coach Mark Few, then a Bulldog assistant, said of the Top of the World Classic.
ELITE COMPANY: Gonzaga University is one of just three schools to advance to the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Michigan State University and Duke University are the other two. Duke and MSU appeared in their fourth straight Sweet Sixteen in 2001. Since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there have been 18 occasions where teams have had runs of three years or more into the Sweet Sixteen. The University of North Carolina leads the way with a 9-year stretch from 1985-93, followed by Duke with a 7-year run from 1986-92 in addition to its current streak.
BLAKE IN THE LINEUP: His status in limbo until game day, Gonzaga University sophomore point guard Blake Stepp has started both games this season. Sidelined for much of the preseason practices and held out of both exhibition game, the 6-4 guard took his place in the starting introductions last Friday at the University of Illinois after starting all 33 games as a true freshman last season. Stepp underwent a procedure late last spring called a micro fracture to repair a degenerative bone in his right knee. The operation made the bone bleed to trick the degenerative bone to go into a healing process to fill in the hole that had developed. Although doctors and trainers are optimistic the procedure was a success, Stepp had experienced swelling that limited his practice sessions this fall. There's no way to know if the operation successful unless doctors go back in to check the knee. Stepp's status, at least through the early part of the season, will be a game-day decision. Stepp has played 16 minutes in each of the two games thus far. He isn't experiencing as much swelling, but the knee still isn't responding like the coaching and training staffs would like.
BULLDOGS AND 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 10 seasons the Bulldogs are 116-9 at home for a nifty 92.7 winning percentage. The Bulldogs went 12-0 at home in 2001, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. The Bulldogs are 33-1 in The Kennel over the past three seasons. The 2000 squad was 10-1, and the 1999 Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel, 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. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the country's second-longest active streak.
VILLEPIGUE TO REDSHIRT: Freshman Dustin Villepigue, a 6-9, 218 pound forward from Simi Valley, Calif., will redshirt this season. As is the case with all freshmen, Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few gave Villepigue the option and redshirting or seeing probable limited playing time.
DICKAU ON WOODEN AWARD BALLOT: Point Guard Dan Dickau is the third straight Gonzaga University representative on the John R. Wood Award Pre-season Top 50 candidates for the 2001-02 Wooden Award All-America Team. Casey Calvary, a Wooden All-America pick last season, and Matt Santangelo in 2000 were the previous Bulldogs on the list. The Wooden Award Top 50 was announced this past summer. In late December the Top 30 finalists will be announced. On March 26, 2002, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Sunday, April 7, 2002, as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year." The event will be a one hour telecast on FOX Sports Net.
FEW'S TWO-YEAR RUN: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few probably never thought life as a head coach would be so "sweet." But in his first two seasons as head coach the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, one of only two NCAA Division I head coaches to accomplish that feat since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Gonzaga, defending national champion Duke University and 2000 national champion Michigan State University are the only three schools to reach the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Few was an assistant coach on Gonzaga's run to the 1999 Elite Eight. Few's 2-year record of 52-16 places him among elite company for second-year head coaches. His 2-year total of 52 wins has him tied for third for second-year coaches with Dan Monson, his predecessor at Gonzaga, and Ben Carnevale of the University of North Carolina (1945-46).
BULLDOGS HIT 20 WINS AGAIN: With a 26-7 record last season, Gonzaga University hit the 20-win plateau for the 8th time in the last 10 seasons, matching the 2000 win total and second all-time behind only the 1999 school record mark of 28-7. Last season marked the fifth time the Bulldogs have hit the magic 20-win plateau in the regular season. The 1994 squad took a 20-6 record into the West Coast Conference Tournament, the 1998 team was 21-8 entering the tourney, the 1999 Bulldogs went 22-6 in the regular season and the 2000 squad was 21-8 heading into the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga's first 20-win season as a NCAA Division I program came in 1992 with a 20-10 mark, falling to Pepperdine University 73-70 in the Bulldogs' first appearance in the WCC Tournament title game.
O-FER FROM THREE: The last time Gonzaga University took the collar from 3-point range was in an 0-for-5 night in The Kennel against the University of Portland on Jan. 27, 1993, a 71-53 Gonzaga victory. Gonzaga has made a 3-point field goal in 267 straight games. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.
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