Bulldogs Battle UConn in Boston

Nov. 30, 2007

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 8 - University of Connecticut
Saturday, December 1 - 12:30 p.m. PST
The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase
TD Banknorth Garden - Boston, MA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 19 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (6-1; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, Jr., Chicago, IL
       (10.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.6 blocks)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 214, So., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (13.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 190, Jr., Kirkland, WA
       (8.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.1 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.3 blocks)
F -  25 David Pendergraft, 6-6, 223, Sr., Brewster, WA
       (8.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.3 steals)
F -  31 Abdullahi Kuso, 6-9, 241, Sr., Kaduna, Nigeria
      (9.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.3 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.3 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  217-53 (9th year - 19th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

CONNECTICUT HUSKIES (5-1; 0-0 Big East) G - 12 A.J. Price, 6-2, 181, Jr., Amityville, NY (13.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 5.4 assists, 2.0 steals) G - 11 Jerome Dyson, 6-4, 190, So., Rockville, MD (13.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.0 blocks) C - 34 Hasheem Thabeet, 7-3, 263, So., Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (10.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.7 blocks) F - 4 Jeff Adrian, 6-7, 243, Jr., Brookline, MA (13.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.7 blocks) F - 21 Stanley Robinson, 6-9, 200, So., Birmingham, AL (9.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.2 blocks) HEAD COACH: Jim Calhoun (American International, 1968) UCONN RECORD: 504-192 (21st year) CAREER RECORD: 752-329 (35th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 9 - Washington State University
Wednesday, December 5 - 8 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS (6-0; 0-0 Pacific-10)
G -   2 Derrick Low, 6-2, 196, Sr., Honolulu, HI
      (15.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.8 assists, 1.3 steals)
G -  10 Taylor Rochestie, 6-1, 186, Jr., Santa Barbara, CA
      (11.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.2 assists, 1.3 steals)
G -  25 Kyle Weaver, 6-6, 201, Sr., Beloit, WI
      (12.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.5 blocks)
C -  11 Aron Baynes, 6-10, 270, Jr., Cairns, Australia
      (9.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.7 blocks)
F -  34 Robbie Cowgill, 6-10, 211, Sr., Austin, TX
      (7.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.0 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Tony Bennett (Wisconsin-Green Bay, 1992)
WSU RECORD:  32-8 (2nd year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same.
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  11/30 at Baylor.

Gonzaga University makes its second straight appearance in The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase Saturday when the Bulldogs battle the University of Connecticut at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Mass. Gonzaga downed the University of Texas and Kevin Durant 88-77 in the inaugural event a year ago - the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge - played in Phoenix, Ariz., a game the Bulldogs led by as many as 28 before Texas put on a late-game surge. The event is sponsored by Game Seven Sports Media out of Lexington, Ky.

Gonzaga University opened its East Coast swing with a 70-65 overtime win at Saint Joseph's University's Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Sophomore Matt Bouldin scored 16 points, including a trey late in regulation to spur a comeback and the go-ahead free throws in overtime, to help Gonzaga hold off the Hawks. Austin Daye scored 17 points and David Pendergraft had 13 for the Bulldogs, who needed a late rally in regulation for the thrilling win and to take the overall series lead 3-2 in the battle of the small Jesuit universities. The Hawks trailed by 17 in the first half as Gonzaga went 11-for-18 from the field to open the game, but SJU rallied to take its first lead 43-42 with 14:51 to play. Gonzaga went 7:06 without a field goal late in the first half as the Hawks steadily chipped into the Gonzaga lead, the Bulldogs going 1-for-8 from the field in the final 9:49 of the opening half. Nivins missed two free throws with 1:32 left in overtime and the game tied at 61. Bouldin made both of his attempts from the line on the next possession and Daye pumped his fist when his jumper gave the Bulldogs a 65-61 lead with :43 remaining. Micah Downs made two free throws with 20 seconds left to seal the win. Gonzaga has won both meetings at SJU and one at home in the series, while the Hawks won one game in Spokane and took a neutral-court meeting at Madison Square Garden.

Despite going 11-for-18 from the field to open Thursday's game at Saint Joseph's University, Gonzaga University finished with a season-low 37.3 percent from the field. The Bulldogs went 22-for-59 from the field. It was the second time this season the Bulldogs have shot under 40 percent from the field, hitting 38.9 percent in the loss to Texas Tech at the Great Alaska Shootout.

Sophomore Matt Bouldin was named to the Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament team after helping Gonzaga University to third place. He scored 20 points in the consolation final victory over Virginia Tech, one shy of his career high of 21 set last season.

Gonzaga University fell five spots to 19th in both of the major polls this week after going 2-1 and suffering its first loss of the season at the Great Alaska Shootout. The Bulldogs, who spent three straight weeks at 14th in both polls, received 452 points in the Associated Press Top 25, and 206 in the USA Today/ESPN balloting. 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 is No. 1 in the AP poll, UCLA edging the Tar Heels for the top spot in the coaches voting.

Three teams on the Gonzaga University schedule remain ranked in the Top 15 of both polls again this week. The Bulldogs will travel to No. 3 University of Memphis Jan. 25, host 6th-ranked Washington State University next Wednesday in the McCarthey Athletic Center and play No. 7 (AP)/No. 12 (ESPN/USA Today) University of Tennessee in The Battle in Seattle Dec. 29.

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.

After being out rebounded 35-29 by Texas Tech, Gonzaga University came back with a +8 (32-24) effort against Virginia Tech, then had a +10 Thursday at Saint Joseph's University. The Bulldogs were out rebounded 20-14 in the first half Thursday against the Hawks, but came out in the second half to dominate the boards 33-17. Texas Tech is the only team to out rebound the Bulldogs this year, Gonzaga holding a +9.4 rebounding edge. Gonzaga had a season-high +19 edge against the University of Idaho. Every five years since 1997, Basketball Times has evaluated the best of the best NCAA programs - those that have won two-thirds of their games over 10 seasons. Gonzaga University is one of 29 schools that qualified for the evaluation this year, and to follow is how the Bulldogs stacked up against the other 28 programs that also met the two-thirds criteria. Gonzaga first made the list in 2002, one of 28 teams to meet the two-third criteria. Special thanks to Jack Styczynski of Basketball Times and the 10 panelists who participated in the 2007 evaluation.

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.

Senior Jeremy Pargo dished out a career high 13 assists in the consolation final win over Virginia Tech at the Great Alaska Shootout. That surpassed his previous high of 11 at home against the University of San Francisco last season. Pargo became the seventh player in school history to record 13 assists, Derek Raivio the last player to do it Nov. 21, 2004, against the University of Montana. Blake Stepp is the single-game leader with 16 against Long Beach State University Dec. 20, 2002. Pargo has 25 assists in his last four games after having 11 in his first three games.

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 35-for-39 for 89.7 percent from the stripe through the first seven 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 24 attempts, including a perfect 6-for-6 Thursday against Saint Joseph's University.

Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 465. 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.

Gonzaga University was 91-for-134 for 67.9 percent from the free throw line heading into last Saturday's game against Virginia Tech, but the Bulldogs hit 16-for-19 against the Hokies and followed that with a 22-for-27 night at Saint Joseph's University. Gonzaga is 121-for-190 for 71.7 percent his season. Gonzaga shot 75.1 percent from the line last year.

Gonzaga University's splash onto the national basketball scene escalated in 1999, and it was the Bulldogs game against the University of Connecticut that played as big a role as any in the Bulldogs emergence. Gonzaga lost to eventual national champion UConn 67-62 in the NCAA West Regional Elite Eight in Phoenix, Ariz., but along the way the Bulldogs became the darlings of the nation. The teams met again in the championship game of the 2005 Maui Invitational, third-ranked UConn prevailing 65-63 over No. 8 Gonzaga as Denham Brown hit a turnaround jumper with 1.1 seconds to play.

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.

Seniors 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. Heytvelt is the second Bulldog in three years under consideration for the Naismith.



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