No. 25 Gonzaga Faces Intrastate Foe Washington State
Nov. 28, 1999
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Two programs trying to establish themselves under first-year coaches meet Monday night in Spokane as No. 25 Gonzaga faces Washington State.
Mark Few, a nine-year assistant, inherited the challenge of guiding Gonzaga (2-0), which won 54 games the last two seasons under Dan Monson. Paul Graham was tabbed to turn around the Cougars (2-1), who went 10-19 last season and finished in the Pac-10 Conference cellar under Kevin Eastman.
It has been easy going for the Bulldogs thus far. They opened with a 76-61 victory over Montana on Nov. 21 and routed Eastern Washington, 81-47, on Friday in the school's first home game ever as a ranked team.
Senior Matt Santangelo, the Bulldogs' best player, battled strep throat much of the week but scored 13 points in 20 minutes before making an early exit with the game well in hand.
A stunning member of the Elite Eight last season, Gonzaga's schedule gets much tougher in a hurry. After facing Boise State on Wednesday, the Bulldogs have road contests against top-ranked Cincinnati, Temple, UCLA and Washington.
Washington State seeks its third straight victory following wins over Grambling and Idaho. Senior Jan-Michael Thomas scored 14 of his 24 points in the first half and sophomore Mike Bush had career highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Cougars to a 70-65 triumph over Idaho on Saturday.
Senior forward Chris Crosby is averaging a team-best 18 points per game and is shooting .588 (20-34) from the field. Bush adds 10.7 points and 8.7 rebounds a contest.
Washington State has not defeated a ranked opponent since Feb. 22, 1997, when the Cougars topped Southern California, 89-87.
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