No. 9 Bulldogs Host Cougars Thursday
Dec. 6, 2005
Game No. 7 - Washington State Cougars
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)
No. 9 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (4-2; 0-0 West Coast) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 175, Jr., Vancouver, WA (14.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals) G - 4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 181, So., Montreal, Quebec (2.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.5 assists, 0.3 steals) C - 13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Sr., Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil (20.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, Jr., Spokane, WA (29.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.7 blocks) F - 32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 218, Jr., Spokane, WA (4.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.3 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 163-39 (7th year - 17th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Sat., Dec. 10 - 1 p.m. PST
KeyArena - Seattle, WA - The Battle in Seattle
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: CBS Regional (Check local listings)
OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY COWBOYS (6-2; 0-0 Big 12) G - 00 Byron Eaton, 5-11, 215, Fr., Dallas, TX (9.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.4 assists, 2.6 steals) G - 24 JamesOn Curry, 6-3, 190, So., Pleasant Grove, NC (11.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 4.4 assists, 1.4 steals) C - 32 David Monds, 6-8, 240, Jr., Macon, GA (10.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.4 assists. 0.3 blocks) F - 5 Marcus Dove, 6-9, 215, So., Long Beach, CA (4.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks) F - 4 Mario Boggan, 6-7, 235, Jr., Durham, NC (12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks) HEAD COACH: Eddie Sutton (Oklahoma State, 1958) OSU RECORD: 357-137 (16th year) CAREER RECORD: 787-301 (35th year) GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.
Gonzaga hopes to gain a split of its in-state Pacific-10 Conference double-header this week when Washington State visits the McCarthey Athletic Center for a 6 p.m. contest on Thursday. The Bulldogs lost at Washington 99-95 on Sunday despite 43 points by Adam Morrison and a second-half comeback that saw the Bulldogs rally from as much as an 11-point deficit to take a four-point lead late in the game before the Huskies rallied back for the victory. Morrison missed a 3-pointer and Sean Mallon was unable to convert the rebound in the final seconds as the 18th-ranked Huskies snapped a seven-game losing streak in upsetting the 6th-ranked Bulldogs.
Gonzaga University has a pair of national leaders in the NCAA Division I men's basketball statistics released Tuesday for the first time this season. Junior Adam Morrison, who twice this season has scored 43 points, sits atop the scoring charts with his 29.7 ppg to lead Steve Burtt of Iona University who is second at 26.6 ppg. Four players are averaging 25.0 ppg or better through the early season. Junior Derek Raivio is in a 10-player logjam for first in free throw percentage with his perfect 20-for-20, but his 20 makes are the most amongst the percentage leaders. Gonzaga is third in free throw percentage, connecting on 84.0 percent. J.P. Batista is also ranked in a pair of categories, checking in tied for 20th in free throw percentage at 94.1 percent (32-for-34) and 35th in points-per-game at 20.3. The Bulldogs are eighth in the country in scoring at 85.5 ppg, but are an uncharacteristic 263rd in defense allowing 81.0 ppg through the first six games. That includes 106 points allowed in the triple-overtime win over Michigan State University this season and the 99 points Washington scored in Sunday's victory. Gonzaga is shooting 48.7 percent from the field to rank 35th.
Prior to Sunday's loss Gonzaga had defeated Washington and Washington State a combined 13 straight times. The Bulldogs will try to extend their current dominance of WSU to seven straight when the Cougars make their first visit to the McCarthey Athletic Center that opened last season. WSU had won 17 of the previous 19 meetings between the teams prior to the current six-game streak by the Bulldogs. The teams did not play from 1989 until renewing the rivalry Nov. 24, 1995, when the Cougars took a 72-67 overtime victory in the first collegiate basketball game played in the then-new Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The teams met in March of 1996 in Pullman in the National Invitational Tournament, and, with the exception of 2001, have played every season since '96. Gonzaga snapped a four-game losing streak against WSU in starting its current six-game winning streak in the series. WSU leads the overall series 95-45.
In equaling his career high of 43 points set earlier this year against Michigan State in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, Adam Morrison became the first Gonzaga player since Jim McPhee in 1990 to score 40 or more points twice in a season. McPhee put up a pair of 42's in a span of eight days against Loyola Marymount University - Jan. 19 and Jan. 27. Those were the last 40-point games for the Bulldogs until Ronny Turiaf scored an even 40 against Idaho last season on Nov. 24, 2004.
One thing Gonzaga could have accomplished with a victory over Washington on Sunday was taking over the top spot on the current NCAA Division I Home Court Winning Streaks list. But the Huskies ran their streak to 29 to sit atop the list with the Bulldogs tied for second with Illinois at 27 heading into Thursday's home game against Washington State.
Junior guard Derek Raivio made both free throw attempts prior to his injury Sunday at Washington, running his season-opening streak to a perfect 20-for-20. That gives him 28 straight over the past two seasons. He tied the school record a year ago with 41 consecutive free throws. His best nights this season have been a pair of 6-for-6 efforts against both Maryland and Michigan State in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs are shooting 84.0 percent from the free-throw line this season on 110-for-131. The Bulldogs are also getting free throw line production from J.P. Batista (32-for-34 for 94.1 percent) and Adam Morrison (27-for-36 for 75.0 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 six 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. The Bulldogs just missed another 40-rebond night Sunday with 39 boards at Washington.
Junior point guard Derek Raivio is closing in on 600 career points and 200 career assists. He enters Sunday's game with 584 points and 198 assists. Raivio didn't have an assist in his 11 minutes of action prior to getting injured on Sunday, snapping a streak of 36 straight games in which he had an assist. The last time he failed to get an assist in a game was the NCAA Tournament contest against Nevada in his freshman season of 2004.
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 his second double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds at Washington. He also recorded the first Gonzaga double-double this year with 22 points and 13 rebounds against Michigan State. He has six double-doubles in his two seasons on the Gonzaga campus.
Washington State hasn't defeated Gonzaga on the Bulldog campus since Dec. 13, 1977, when the Cougars took a 58-52 win. The 28-year duration of the streak is impressive until a check of the records reveals that was the last time the teams played on the GU campus until Dec. 15, 2001, when Gonzaga took a 67-44 victory. The teams also played in the old Kennel in the Martin Centre on Dec. 28, 2003, a 95-58 GU victory. From 1979-2000, 12 of the 16 meetings between the teams were played at the old Spokane Coliseum and later the Spokane Arena, with the other four meetings taking place in Pullman.
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few is 2-0 against Washington State head coach Dick Bennett after last year's 54-52 escape over the Cougars at Friel Court. Bennett is now 0-3 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 and he has lost both meetings to Gonzaga in his brief WSU tenure.
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 88 games since that Saint Joseph's loss without losing back-to-back games.
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 Thursday against Washington State. 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 Nov. 28. 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 latest surgery 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 remained in the Associated Press Top 10 this week, but dropped three spots to ninth following Sunday's setback. The Bulldogs dropped out of the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 as voted by the coaches, slipping four spots to No. 11 this week. The Bulldogs are 91-18 when ranked, including 24-5 last season. The Bulldogs are 39-0 at home when ranked, 32-7 away and 20-11 on a neutral court.
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