Bulldogs Face Hokies In Alaska Consolation

Nov. 24, 2007

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 6 - Virginia Tech
Saturday, November 24 - 7 p.m. PST
Great Alaska Shootout Consolation
Sullivan Arena - Anchorage, AK
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN360 (Internet Subscription)
No. 14 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (4-1; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, Jr., Chicago, IL
       (11.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.0 assists, 0.6 blocks)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 214, So., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (12.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 190, Jr., Kirkland, WA
       (9.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.8 assists, 2.0 steals)
F -  25 David Pendergraft, 6-6, 223, Sr., Brewster, WA
       (7.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.4 steals)
F -  31 Abdullahi Kuso, 6-9, 241, Sr., Kaduna, Nigeria
      (7.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.0 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  215-53 (9th year - 19th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (2-1; 0-0 Atlantic Coast) G - 10 Hank Thorns, 5-9, 140, Fr., Las Vegas, NV (8.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg) F - 00 Jeff Allen, 6-7, 258, Fr., Washington, D.C. (17.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg) F - 13 Deron Washington, 6-7, 210, Sr., New Orleans, LA (12.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) F - 21 Lewis Witcher, 6-9, 228, So., Rocky Mount, VA (0.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg) F - 40 A.D. Vassallo, 6-6, 215, Jr., Toa Baja, Puerto Rico (15.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg) HEAD COACH: Seth Greenberg (Fairleigh Dickinson, 1978) VT RECORD: 69-57 (5th year) CAREER RECORD: 282-227 (18th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Alan Voskuil's 28 points and big contributions off the bench sparked Texas Tech to a 73-63 upset of No. 14 Gonzaga University in the semifinals of the Great Alaska Shootout on Friday night. The Red Raiders (4-1) will play 22nd-ranked Butler in Saturday's championship. Gonzaga (4-1) went scoreless for the first 6:27 of the second half as the Bulldogs turned the ball over repeatedly and the Red Raiders' lead grew to 48-31 on a 3-pointer by Voskuil. Gonzaga pulled to 67-61 on two straight baskets by Matt Bouldin with 2:04 to go, but the Zags could get no closer. No more than five points separated the two teams for the first 16 minutes as there were three ties and five lead changes. But the Red Raiders got strong play off the bench with the reserves scoring 19 points and grabbing seven rebounds to stake Texas Tech to a 41-31 halftime lead. D'walyn Roberts did most of the damage with 11 points. Voskuil scored 16 in the first half, including seven straight at one stretch. Roberts and Burgess each finished with 11. Gonzaga was led by Micah Downs with 15, including 12 in the first half. The game was a re-match of a 2005 NCAA Tournament Second Round matchup in Tucson, Ariz., also won by the Red Raiders.

Friday's loss dropped Gonzaga University into Saturday's consolation championship against Virginia Tech, which lost to Butler University 84-78 in Friday's other semifinal. The winner claims third place while the loser gets fifth place. The Hokies defeated Eastern Washington University 69-52 in its first outing in Alaska on Wednesday. Saturday's meeting will be the first between the two schools.

The Great Alaska Shootout has multiple ESPN entities televising games. Gonzaga University's game Saturday against Virginia Tech will be televised at 7 p.m. PST on ESPN360 which is available by internet subscription only. Saturday's championship game will be televised on ESPN2 at 9:30 p.m. PST on ESPN2.

Gonzaga University had a season-high 19 turnovers that led to 21 Texas Tech points on Friday. The Bulldogs, who had 40 turnovers through the first three games, have had 35 turnovers in Alaska after committing 16 against Western Kentucky University on Thursday. Gonzaga has committed 75 turnovers for an average of 15.0/game, but have forced 85 turnovers as opponents are averaging 17.0 turnovers/game.

Gonzaga University is 14th in both of the major polls for the third straight week. The Bulldogs garnered 834 points in the Associated Press Top 25, and 342 in the USA Today/ESPN balloting. 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 42-1 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.

Gonzaga University shot a season-low 38.9 percent from the field Friday against Texas Tech, while the Red Raiders hit 47.2 percent from the field for the best shooting night against the Bulldogs this season. Gonzaga went 21-for-54 while Texas Tech went 25-for-53 from the field.

Gonzaga University got out rebounded for the first time this season, Texas Tech holding a 35-29 advantage Friday. The Red Raiders held a 21-10 boards edge in the first half. The Bulldogs still holds a +9.6 edge in rebounding margin this season.

Junior Josh Heytvelt and freshman Steven Gray have had their seasons interrupted by surgery. Heytvelt, who has been fighting a stress fracture in his right ankle all fall, underwent surgery Nov. 12 to insert screws into the ankle. Gray, who suffered a fractured wrist Nov. 7 in an exhibition game against Emporia State University, underwent surgery Nov. 14 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.

Freshman Austin Daye failed to hit double-digit scoring for the first time in his brief collegiate career Friday, scoring 6 points on a 2-for-8 night from the field. He also failed to block a shot for the first time in his career, but still leads the Bulldogs with 13 blocks already this season. Daye grabbed 6 rebounds Friday and is tied for the team lead with 5.2 rpg.

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 25-for-29 for 86.2 percent from the stripe through the first five games. 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 has made his last 14 attempts.

Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 463. 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.

Free throw shooting has been an Achilles heel for Gonzaga University this season, although it may not have cost the Bulldogs until Friday's loss to Texas Tech in a 15-for-23 night from the line. Gonzaga is 91-for-134 for 67.9 percent from the line this season, and 33-for-51 for 64.7 percent in the two games in Alaska. Gonzaga shot 75.1 percent from the line last year.

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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