Bulldogs Face Arizona Sunday In Duel In The Desert

Dec. 13, 2008

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 8 - University of Arizona
Sunday, December 14 - 3 p.m. PST
U.S. Airways Center - Duel in the Desert - Phoenix, AZ
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); Oldies 101.1 FM (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: FOX National (Check local listings)
No. 4/4 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (7-0; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL
       (10.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 7.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (11.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.6 assists, 2.1 steals, 0.3 blocks)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 194, Sr., Kirkland, WA
       (10.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA
       (16.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.4 blocks)
F -   5 Austin Daye, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA
       (12.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.4 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  243-60 (10th year - 20th at GU) CAREER RECORD:  Same

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA WILDCATS (6-2; 0-0 Pacific-10) G - 13 Nic Wise, 5-10, 177, Jr., Houston, TX (13.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.5 assists, 1.3 steals) G - 21 Kyle Fogg, 6-2, 175, Fr., Brea, CA (3.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.3 steals) F - 34 Chase Budinger, 6-7, 218, Jr., Encinitas, CA (19.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.1 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 43 Jordan Hill, 6-10, 235, Jr., Atlanta, GA (18.4 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 1.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 3.0 blocks) F - 42 Jamelle Horne, 6-6, 209, So., San Diego, CA (8.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.4 blocks) INTERIM HEAD COACH: Russ Pennell (Pittsburg State, 1989) UA RECORD: 6-2 (1st year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 9 - Texas Southern University
Thursday, December 18 - 6 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); Oldies 101.1 FM (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (Check local listings)
TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY TIGERS (0-8; 0-0 Southwestern Athletic)
G -   1 DeAndre Hall, 6-6, 180, Jr., Pontiac, MI
      (14.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.3 assists, 1.1 steals)
G -   3 Matthew Miller, 6-3, 200, Sr., Arlington, TX
      (11.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals)
F -   15 Jacques Jones, 6-7, 200, Sr., Houston, TX
      (8.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks)
F -   20 Ricky Boyles, 6-7, 215, Jr., Los Angeles, CA
      (6.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks)
F -   55 Michael Drewy, 6-8, 215, Sr., Missouri City, TX
       (7.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks)
INTERIM HEAD COACH:  Tony Harvey (Cameron, 1988)
TSU RECORD:  0-8 (1st year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same.
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  12/16 at Texas.
NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

It's Pacific-10 Conference week for Gonzaga University as the Bulldogs complete their two-game venture into the Pac-10 with Sunday's Duel in the Desert against the University of Arizona. Sunday's game will tip off at approximately 3 p.m. PST and be televised live nationally on Fox Sports from U.S. Airways Arena, home of the NBA's Phoenix Suns. Sunday's game with Arizona is the second game of a double-header that starts at 12:15 p.m. PST with Arizona State University meeting Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

Josh Heytvelt scored 22 points and No. 4 Gonzaga University broke open a close game in the second half and went on to a 74-52 victory over Washington State University Wednesday night. Austin Daye added 14 points and Jeremy Pargo had 11 for the Bulldogs as they ended a two-game losing streak to their regional rival. WSU was in the game in the first half, when it managed to impose its slowdown style of play. But the Cougars fell completely apart early in the second half when Gonzaga scored 15 straight points. Leading 32-31 early in the second half, the Zags forced WSU into numerous turnovers and scored 15 straight points to build a 47-31 lead. Heytvelt, limited to nine minutes and five points in the first half because of foul trouble, had six points in the run. After Aaron Baynes finally scored for Washington State on a goaltending call, Gonzaga scored 12 straight points - for a 27-2 run - to take a 59-33 lead with 11 minutes left. The Cougars were 2-of-11 from the field and committed six turnovers in the span, while the Zags shot 10-of-16.

Gonzaga University and the University of Arizona will be meeting for just the third time, and what a barnburner the last meeting provided. The top-seeded Wildcats prevailed 96-95 in double overtime in the 2003 NCAA Tournament Second Round at the Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus. Gonzaga, the No. 9 seed, needed a rebound basket from Tony Skinner to tie the game in regulation and Luke Walton's runner in the lane evened the score for Arizona with 4.1 seconds to play in the first OT. Only a miss by Blake Stepp at the buzzer of the second overtime allowed the Wildcats to escape. UA took a 101-87 home victory in the first meeting in the 2000-01 season.

Following Sunday's game Gonzaga University will look forward to Thursday's home game against Texas Southern University, marking Gonzaga's first home game in exactly one month.

Gonzaga University moved up four spots in the Associated Press Top 25 and one spot in the USA Today/ESPN balloting to check in at fourth in both weekly polls. The Bulldogs achieved their highest AP ranking since the final poll of the 2004 season when they were ranked third for a second straight week. That followed two weeks at No. 4. In the USA Today/ESPN balloting the Bulldogs reached their loftiest ranking since being second the final two weeks of the 2004 regular season, Gonzaga's highest ranking ever in either poll.

Gonzaga will be making its third trip Sunday to what is known today as U.S. Airways Arena, a venue that has been pretty kind to the Bulldogs in the past. Few can forget Gonzaga's first trip to the facility - known then as America West Arena - in 1999 when Gonzaga continued its Cinderella March through the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs, the 10th seed, downed No. 6 seed University of Florida 73-72 on Casey Calvary's tip-in at the buzzer to propel Gonzaga into the Elite Eight against the University of Connecticut. With Quentin Hall at the controls, the Bulldogs narrowly missed a trip to the Final Four as the eventual-champion Huskies won 67-62. The most recent trip to U.S. Airways Arena was Dec. 2, 2006, when the Bulldogs, ranked 22nd by Associated Press and 21st by USA Today/ESPN, dropped No. 25 University of Texas and Kevin Durant 87-77 in a game the Bulldogs led by as much as 28 points in the second half, 87-59. Three current Bulldogs played against the Longhorns. Josh Heytvelt had 13 points and 12 rebounds, Jeremy Pargo had 18 points and 6 assists and Matt Bouldin contributed 8 points and 4 assists.

Jeremy Pargo recorded his fifth career double-digit assist game Wednesday at Washington State University and now has 475 career assists as he closes in on becoming the fifth member of the 500 Club at Gonzaga University. He ranks fourth behind Matt Santangelo (668), Blake Stepp (640) and John Stockton (554). His 7.2 assists/game and his 4.3 assists/turnover ratio entering the week both ranked seventh nationally. He's now averaging 7.8 and 4.8. He had 10 assists in this year's season opener against Montana State University-Billings; 13 last year against the University of Virginia and 12 against Pepperdine University, and 11 in 2007 against the University of San Francisco. Pargo also has 969 career points as he closes in on becoming the 31st member of the Bulldogs 1,000-point club.

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 54-2 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. Gonzaga has a modest 10-game home winning streak since last season's setback to Washington State University.

Head coach Mark Few picked up his 225th career victory Jan. 19, 2008, against the University of San Diego. With 243 victories, Few is third on the all-time Gonzaga victories chart behind Hank Anderson (290-275 in 21 seasons) and Dan Fitzgerald (252-171 in 15 seasons). Few is the active winningest coach in West Coast Conference games at 113-13, moving ahead of Fitzgerald (112-88) on the all-time wins list. Carroll Williams, Santa Clara University (165-137) and Dick Davey, SCU (122-88) hold the top two spots.

Gonzaga University senior Jeremy Pargo is on the 2009 John R. Wooden Award Pre-Season Top 50 list as announced by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder. Pargo is eligible for the John R. Wooden All-American Team and Player of the Year Trophy. The native of Chicago, Ill., was on last season's Pre-Season Top 50 list. He is the ninth Bulldog comprising 10 Pre-Season Top 50 nominations since 2000 when Matt Santangelo became Gonzaga's inaugural nominee and was named to the Mid-Season Top 30. Casey Calvary became a Top 10 All-American in 2001, Dan Dickau became the Bulldogs first Top 5 All-American in 2002, Cory Violette was nominated in 2003 and 2004, Ronny Turiaf was nominated in 2004 and 2005 and Adam Morrison was a Top 5 All-American in 2006 and runner-up for Player of the Year honors to J.J. Reddick of Duke University. Pargo became the eighth straight Bulldog to win West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors last season, averaging 12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 6.0 assists/game in leading the Bulldogs to the WCC regular-season title and a 10th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few added two players to the Bulldog fold to letters-of-intent. Dower averaged 22 ppg and 10 rpg per game in the month of July and 18 ppg and 9 rpg for this past AAU season, according to head coach Marquise Watts of Net Gain Sports, Dower's AAU club. Net Gain Sports won the Twin Cities Summer Classic, won the adidas 64 Gold Division in Las Vegas and went 3-2 in round-robin play in the Duel in the Desert in Phoenix, according to Watts. "He can score for a big guy. He's a lefty so that makes it harder to defend because most people aren't used to seeing a lefthander," Few said. "He can make a difference and is a unique post player. He had a good spring and a great summer." Watts said Dower has worked hard to improve his game. "Every day over the last two years he's gotten better. I don't think he's begun to scratch the surface. His inside-outside game, he can shoot the three and on the block he's a lefty with a great hook shot," Watts said. "He's athletic, he's working on putting on weight and he will fit in real well at Gonzaga." Dower didn't make the varsity team at Osseo until midway through his sophomore year. He averaged 2.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg then blossomed last season to average 13.4 ppg and 5.9 rpg. Last season he scored in double figures 23 times and had double-digit rebounds six times. The Orioles went 28-1, their lone setback 60-59 in the Region finals. He scored a career-high 23 points at Coon Rapids and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds at Orono. He had several scholarship offers, among them the University of Minnesota, Marquette University and the University of Iowa. Arop, born in the Sudan, currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he plays with Basketball Canada's National Elite Development Academy (NEDA) which is basically Canada's Junior National Team. His first name is pronounced Man-GEESE-toe, his last name pronounced "rop" (the "a" is silent) but he goes simply by Manny. He recently set a single-game scoring NEDA scoring record with 42 points, and this past summer played for Canada in the FIBA Americas Championship in Formosa, Argentina. He averaged 17.0 ppg to rank second, 10.2 rpg to rank third, shot 52.8 percent from the field on 23-for-58 and 87.5 percent from the line on 14-of-15 in the five tournament games as Canada placed fifth. He had 21 points and 9 rebounds against the U.S. in the tourney. "Manny is a high energy player with a great competitive streak," Few said. "His skill level is something to be excited about. He has a great opportunity to be effective for us at both ends of the court." His mother and four brothers left Sudan when he was 9-years-old and lived in Kenya prior to re-locating to Regina, Saskatchewan. Arop then spent a year in Edmonton, Alberta, before joining Basketball Canada's NEDA program, which is a year-round junior development camp.

Gonzaga has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 498. 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 current streak of 668 entering the 2009 season.



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