Dog Fight Sunday In Seattle
Dec. 3, 2005
Game No. 6 - Washington Huskies
Sun., Dec. 4 - 7:30 p.m.
Bank of America Arena - Seattle, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: Fox Sports Net (National - Check local listings)
No. 6 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (4-1; 0-0 West Coast) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 175, Jr., Vancouver, WA (16.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals) G - 4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 181, So., Montreal, Quebec (1.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.2 assists) C - 13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Sr., Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil (21.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.6 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.4 blocks) F - 3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, Jr., Spokane, WA (27.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.4 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.6 blocks) F - 32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 218, Jr., Spokane, WA (5.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.4 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 163-38 (7th year - 17th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Thurs., Dec. 8 - 6 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (Check local listings)
WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY COUGARS (3-1; 0-0 Pacific-10) G - 2 Derrick Lowe, 6-1, 186, So., Honolulu, HI (12.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 5.2 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.5 blocks) G - 25 Kyle Weaver, 6-5, 185, So., Beloit, WI (9.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.0 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.8 blocks) G - 23 Antonio Chavers, 6-1, 195, Jr., Fort Worth, TX (3.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.0 assists) C - 34 Robbie Cowgill, 6-10, 207, So., Austin, TX (6.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals) F - 33 Ivory Clark, 6-5, 212, Jr., New Orleans, LA (12.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.3 blocks) HEAD COACH: Dick Bennett (Ripon College, 1965) WSU RECORD: 28-33 (3rd year) CAREER RECORD: 482-290 (28th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 12/3 Kansas State.
It's in-state rivalry week for Gonzaga as the Bulldogs head to Washington on Sunday for a 7:30 p.m. contest at Bank of America Arena then return home Thursday to host Washington State in a 6 p.m. tipoff at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Sunday's game will be nationally televised on FOX Sports Net, with Thursday's game on KHQ-TV in Spokane and on FSN in the five-state region of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
Sunday's game is perhaps the most hyped Dog Fight in recent memory. Gonzaga enters the contest ranked sixth in the Associated Press Top 25 and seventh in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25. Washington is 18th in the AP poll, 19th in the USA Today/ESPN balloting of coaches. This is the first meeting between the teams when BOTH have been nationally ranked in one of the two major polls.
Gonzaga has won seven straight games against Washington, and as the above chart shows the only time in that stretch where one of the teams hasn't been ranked was the Dec. 2, 2000, meeting when the Bulldogs took an 86-74 win at Gonzaga.
The other hype around this game involves Washington's 28-game home court winning streak, currently the longest active streak in the NCAA Division I ranks. Who's second? You guess it, Gonzaga. The Bulldogs have won 27 straight at home after Wednesday's 89-80 win over Portland State. Illinois is third at 26 with a home game Monday against Arkansas-Little Rock. Gonzaga's streak began Feb. 22, 2003, with a 69-60 win over Tulsa. Washington plays 13 of its first 14 games at home this season.
Junior guard Derek Raivio didn't have any free throw attempts in Wednesday's victory over Portland State, but he is off to a good start from the free throw line. He has opened the season with a perfect 18-for-18. He tied the school record a year ago with 41 consecutive free throws and now has 26 straight dating back to last season. He made his final six free throws against Saint Mary's in the West Coast Conference Tournament title game, then went 2-for-2 against Winthrop in the NCAA and did not have any free throw attempts in the Bulldogs second-round game against Texas Tech.
Gonzaga is shooting an amazing 86.1 percent from the free throw line, going 92-for-109. The Bulldogs were an incredible 24-for-30 for 80.0 percent from the line in Wednesday's win. In addition to Derek Raivio's 18-for-18 the Bulldogs are also getting free throw line production from J.P. Batista (32-for-34 for 94.1 percent) and Adam Morrison (21-for-27 for 77.8 percent). Batista also tied a school record for single-game percentage when he went 10-for-10 from the line against Michigan State, the 15th time a Gonzaga player has gone at least 10-for-10 from the stripe. Frank Burgess and Geoff Goss hold the record base on most attempts at a perfect 15-for-15.
Gonzaga has grabbed 40 or more rebounds in three of its first five games this season, including a season-high 46 against a physical Michigan State team that is traditionally one of the top rebounding teams in the country.
Junior point guard Derek Raivio is closing in on 600 career points and 200 career assists. He enters Sunday's game with 582 points and 198 assists.
Junior Sean Mallon recorded his first double-double of the season and the second of his career with 10 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday against Portland State. His first career double-double was 11 points and 10 rebounds against Idaho on Nov. 24, 2004.
Three players have put up some solid assist-to-turnover ratios in the early season for Gonzaga. Junior Derek Raivio paces the club with his 2.25, sophomore Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes is at 1.57 and freshman Jeremy Pargo has a 1.11.
Gonzaga has won 39 of its last 40 non-conference home games, Saint Joseph's topping Gonzaga 79-78 in overtime on Dec. 31, 2002, for the last home non-conference defeat for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga's current non-conference home winning streak stands at 13.
Senior center J.P. Batista recorded the first double-double of the season for Gonzaga with his 22 points and 13 rebounds against Michigan State. It was the fifth double-double of his career. The 13 rebounds were two shy of his career high of 15 last year against Santa Clara.
Depth remains a concern for Gonzaga as redshirt freshman Josh Heytvelt is sidelined for most of the regular season and the Bulldogs will probably not have the services of junior Erroll Knight again on Sunday against Washington. Heytvelt had three screws inserted into the left medial maleous (inside of the ankle) while Knight had his second arthroscopic surgery since Nov. 8, both surgeries taking place this past Monday. Heytvelt was injured in the Connecticut game at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, while Knight has not seen any action this season. Heytvelt had been sidelined until the Maui trip, playing all three games and scoring nine points and grabbing four rebounds in the triple overtime win over Michigan State. Knight warmed up prior to the first game in Maui, then was on the bench in street clothes the final two games. His surgery Monday was more preventative to flush out the knee in hopes the pain and an infection will subside. He had a frayed cartilage repaired in the Nov. 8 procedure
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 86 games since that Saint Joseph's loss without losing back-to-back games.
Gonzaga moved up to sixth in this week's Associated Press Top 25 and jumped two spots to seventh in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 coaches poll following an impressive performance at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs are 91-17 when ranked, including 24-5 last season. The Bulldogs are 39-0 at home when ranked, 32-6 away and 20-11 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.
Following Sunday's game the Bulldogs will turn around and head back to Seattle next weekend for the third annual Battle in Seattle at KeyArena. Gonzaga will meet Oklahoma State this season after downing the then third-ranked Cowboys 78-75 last year at the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic in Oklahoma City, Okla. Gonzaga downed then third-ranked Missouri 87-80 in 2003 in the inaugural Battle in Seattle, then topped Massachusetts 68-57 last season. This year's game will be televised by CBS and be seen in about 30 percent of the country.
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