Bulldogs Head To Washington State
Dec. 6, 2004
Game No. 7 - Washington State
Tues., Dec. 7 - 6 p.m. PST
Friel Court - Pullman, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (5-1; 0-0 West Coast Conference)
Sat., Dec. 11 - 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); KONG (Seattle)
SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY BILLIKENS (1-4; 0-0 Conference USA) G - 00 Dwayne Polk, 5-9, 160, Fr., St. Louis, MO (6.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.6 assists, 2.0 steals) G - 21 Reggie Bryant, 6-2, 205, Sr., Baltimore, MD (14.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.8 assists) C - 1 Tom Frericks, 6-9, 250, Sr., Bowling Green, KY (4.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.6 assists) F - 30 Izik Ohanon, 6-9, 220, Sr., Jerusalem, Israel (13.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 0.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.4 blocks) F - 33 Vas'Shun Newborne, 6-6, 220, Jr., Natchez, MS (4.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.2 assists, 1.4 steals) HEAD COACH: Brad Soderberg (UW-Stevens Point, 1985) SLU RECORD: 36-31 (3rd year) CAREER RECORD: 167-104 (11th year). GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 12/7 at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Gonzaga is back in the Associated Press Top 25 this week and the Bulldogs will try to maintain not only their national ranking but their Pacific Northwest dominance Tuesday in Pullman against Washington State University. The Bulldogs have won five straight against WSU as the teams head into the 140th overall meeting in the series the Cougars lead 95-44. But the Bulldogs have been the better team of late, putting together the current streak against WSU on the heels of a 4-game losing streak to the Cougars. And WSU isn't the only Pacific Northwest team that hasn't had much success against the Bulldogs lately. Gonzaga owns a 7-game winning streak over Washington following last week's win over the then-14th-ranked Huskies in the McCarthey Athletic Center, have won 18 straight against nearby Eastern Washington University, have stopped Idaho five straight times, Portland State eight straight and Portland 16 of the last 17 meetings. When all the streaks are added up it comes to a 51-1 edge for the Bulldogs against those six schools.
Gonzaga returned to the Associated Press Top 25 after a one-week absence following the Bulldogs loss to then No. 5 and now No. 1 ranked Illinois. The Bulldogs vaulted back into the fray with a win over then No. 14 Washington last Wednesday followed by a win over Massachusetts in the Battle in Seattle last Saturday. The Bulldogs are the third team among those receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN coaches balloting this week. Illinois also sits atop the USA Today/ESPN poll.
Gonzaga is 66-12 when ranked, including 3-1 this season. The Bulldogs are 28-0 at home when ranked, 26-3 away and 12-9 on a neutral court.
Gonzaga is 49-8 since starting the 2003 season 8-5. Following that the Bulldogs put together a 9-game winning streak and went 16-4 down the stretch, last year's club went 28-3 and this year's team is off to a 5-1 start.
Senior Ronny Turiaf is the West Coast Conference Player of the Week in leading Gonzaga to a pair of victories last week. He put together a pair of double-doubles to run his career total to 17, scoring 23 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the win over Washington and coming back with 19 points and a career-high equaling 14 rebounds against Massachusetts. He went 11-for-19 from the field for 57.9 percent and 20-for-26 from the free throw line for 76.9 percent.
Erroll Knight, who suffered a badly sprained right thumb Nov. 17 just two days prior to the season opener, saw his first action of the season Saturday for Gonzaga in his hometown in the Battle in Seattle. He played 17 minutes, had a pair of assists and a steal while scoring 2 points on a 1-for-5 afternoon from the field. His return should allow the Bulldogs to apply more full court pressure as Knight was the point man in the Gonzaga press a year ago. Knight is a product of Seattle's Sealth High and played one season for Washington prior to transferring to Gonzaga.
Adam Morrison has scored 20-plus points in his last three games. He scored a career-high 26 points in back-to-back games against Illinois and Washington, then poured in 20 points for Gonzaga last Saturday against Massachusetts.
Ronny Turiaf has scored in double digits in all six Gonzaga games this season, running his consecutive game streak to 18 in which he has scored in double digits. He had a career-high 40 points against Idaho, the first Gonzaga player since Jim McPhee to hit the 40 plateau. McPhee had 42 points against Loyola Marymount twice in an 8-day stretch in 1990.
Gonzaga's not hoping for a repeat of the last time the Bulldogs ventured into Friel Court to face Washington State in Pullman - two years exactly to the day. That season Marcus Moore hit a 360-degree half-court shot at the regulation buzzer to send the game into overtime. The Bulldogs eventually won that game 110-104 in overtime. The Bulldogs led by 19 with 11:49 to play before seeing the Cougars mount the rally. Ronny Turiaf scored six of Gonzaga's 17 points in the overtime.
The last time Gonzaga scored 100 points was Dec. 7, 2002, against Washington State in a 110-104 overtime victory in Pullman. That was also the last time the Bulldogs have surrendered 100 points. Gonzaga hasn't given up 100 points in a loss since a 101-87 setback at Arizona on Nov. 29, 2000, a streak of 126 games.
Gonzaga has a modest 16-game home winning streak that ranks tied for tied for 6th with Air Force in the NCAA Division I ranks through games of Monday. Stephen F. Austin and Wisconsin lead the way with 31-game streaks.
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few is 1-0 against Washington State head coach Dick Bennett after last year's 95-58 Bulldog win over the Cougars at Gonzaga. Bennett is now 0-2 lifetime against Gonzaga as Bennett's Wisconsin-Green Bay team faced Gonzaga to open the 1985-86 season, the Bulldogs taking an 85-58 victory in The Kennel, the former home of Bulldog basketball. That was Bennett's first year at the helm of UWGB.
With the return of Erroll Knight to the lineup Gonzaga can go a solid nine deep into the bench. Disregarding Knight's 17.0 minutes/game average based on his one appearance this season, the Bulldogs have eight players averaging double-digit minutes. Ronny Turiaf, Adam Morrison and Derek Raivio all average more than 34.0 minutes/game and Sean Mallon, J.P. Batista, Nathan Doudney and Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes all average better than 20 minutes per contest. True freshman David Pendergraft, who was brought off redshirt status when Knight was injured, is averaging 11.5 minutes/game.
You can call me....There has been much debate on television, on the radio and in the print media this season over the pronunciation of Derek Raivio's last name. While the sophomore from Vancouver, Wash., insists he doesn't care, the correct pronunciation is rye-VEE-oh. All of last season and through the early part of this season everyone has gone with rav-EE-oh.
Tuesday is Pearl Harbor Day, and Gonzaga will be trying to even its record in games played on one of the most important dates in U.S. history. The Bulldogs are 8-9 in games played on Dec. 7. The last time the Bulldogs visited Washington State in 2002 was on Dec. 7 and the Bulldogs captured the wild 110-104 overtime victory. The first time in their NCAA Division history the Bulldogs played a Dec. 7 game was in 1962 when Idaho took a 63-52 decision.
Gonzaga won the battle of the boards 37-27 last Saturday against Massachusetts, the Bulldogs still not having been out-rebounded this season. Despite the lopsided loss to Illinois, Gonzaga prevailed on the boards 43-29 for a season-high +14. Montana held the Bulldogs at bay as each team grabbed 35 rebounds for the only time in six outings Gonzaga has not held the upper hand on the boards.
Gonzaga has won 35 of its last 36 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 has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 368. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, when the Bulldogs went 0-for-5 at home against Portland.
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