Gonzaga-Duke Take Center Stage In The Big Apple
Dec. 17, 2009
Game No. 11 – Duke University
No. 15/15 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (8-2; 0-0 West Coast)
No. 7/7 DUKE UNIVERSITY BLUE DEVILS (8-1; 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference)
Game No. 12 – Eastern Washington University
EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY EAGLES (4-5; 0-1 Big Sky Conference)
ON THE AIR: Gonzaga University men’s basketball can be heard on Sports Radio 1510 KGA and KEYF-FM 101.1. The network pre-game show begins one hour prior to tipoff. Tom Hudson returns for his eighth season behind the microphone calling the action and former Bulldog Richard Fox is back alongside Hudson as the analyst for the third
SPECIAL PROGRAMMING: The Mark Few TV Show will air every Sunday following NFL football on KHQ-TV, and every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on FSN. Greg Heister will host. The Mark Few Radio Show will air Monday from noon-1 p.m. on Sports Radio 1510 KGA unless the Bulldogs are traveling or have a game. The “GU Coaches Show” hosted by Tom Hudson will also air on 1510 KGA every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. with the exception of Nov. 17 and Nov. 24.
Elias Harris scored a season-high 27 points, Robert Sacre and Demetri Goodson added their own career bests of 23 and 22 points, and No. 21 Gonzaga overcame the absence of injured leading scorer Matt Bouldin to race past Davidson 103-91 last Saturday. Bouldin was cracked just below the temple by an opponent's forehead on Wednesday and said he was knocked out briefly early in the win over Division III Augustana. Trainers determined the senior should stay out Saturday to prepare for semester finals and then another huge test: No. 8 Duke in New York's Madison Square Garden next weekend. Freshman Jake Cohen scored 16 points and Brendan McKillop tied his career-high with 15 on five 3-pointers for Davidson. Thanks to an unending parade of free throws, the Bulldogs scored their most points since a 109-106 victory over Michigan State in Hawaii on Dec. 22, 2005. And that game lasted three overtimes. Gonzaga made 41 of a Zags' record 54 free throws. Sacre was 11 for 18 from the line, and Harris was 11 of 14. Harris, a recruiting gem from Germany, made his first seven shots. Davidson, which has beaten only Fredonia State and The Citadel this season, trailed by only two at halftime behind four consecutive 3-pointers by McKillop, the coach's son. Gonzaga then clamped down defensively after halftime. A dunk by Sacre with McKillop falling helplessly at his feet, plus two 3-pointers by Gray sandwiched around a slashing basket by Bol Kong, put the Bulldogs up 72-58 with 13 1/2 minutes left. The lead got to 85-67 on a soaring, two-handed dunk by Sacre. The 7-foot sophomore stomped away, pounded his chest and screamed to proclaim his dominance. Gonzaga was without its top three scorers by the midway point of a streaky first half. Gray, its second-leading scorer, left with his second foul, and Sacre departed with his second foul with 9:08 remaining in the opening period. But the Zags answered a 13-0 run by Davidson by forcing backcourt turnovers off traps. They scored the next 17 points to retake the lead for good.
Gonzaga University, which has already faced the likes of then second-ranked Michigan State University, the University of Colorado, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Cincinnati and Wake Forest University this season, faces another stern test Saturday against Duke University. The Bulldogs, 15th in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 and 16th in the latest ESPN/USA Today rankings, will face a Blue Devils squad that is ranked seventh in both polls. Duke’s only loss in nine outings was at Wisconsin 73-69. The Bulldogs defeated Wisconsin 74-61 in the semifinals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational last month.
Gonzaga University senior guard Matt Bouldin, who sat out last Saturday’s game against Davidson College at the Comcast Battle in Seattle, is expected to be in the starting lineup Saturday when the Bulldogs face Duke University in the Aeropostale Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York. Bouldin left the Bulldogs 79-40 home win Dec. 9 win over Augustana College with 6:56 to go in the first half after a head-knocking collision under the basket. He did not return to action. The native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., leads the Bulldogs in leading at 16.8 ppg and assists at 3.8/game.
Saturday’s game against Duke University will end a Gonzaga University stretch that will have seen the Bulldogs play two ACC schools in the last four games. The Bulldogs hosted Wake Forest University Dec. 5. Gonzaga suffered just its fourth loss since moving into the McCarthey Athletic Center six years ago, the Demon Deacons taking a 77-75 victory in a game that saw Gonzaga go just 21-of-34 from the free throw line.
Matt Bouldin is the only Gonzaga University player who played against Duke University in the only other meeting
Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few moved into second place on the school’s all-time winningest coaches list with the Bulldogs victory Feb. 5, 2009, at the University of Portland. Few, in his 11th season, is now 272-68 and moved
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 66-4 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 suffered its first loss at home this year Dec. 5 when Wake Forest University escaped with a 77-75 decision. Gonzaga’s other losses were during the 2008 season to Washington State University and last year to Portland State University.
Canadians dot the 2010 Gonzaga University roster – four of them to be exact. Three of them come to the Bulldogs from the province of British Columbia to the north of Spokane. Redshirt sophomore center Robert Sacre is from North Vancouver, B.C., freshman forward Kelly Olynyk hails from Kamloops, B.C., and redshirt sophomore forward Bol Kong is from Vancouver, B.C. Mangisto “Manny” Arop is from Edmonton, Alberta, but spent the past few years in Hamilton, Ontario, while playing with NEDA, Basketball Canada’s National Elite Development Academy.
Don’t forget the Texans as sophomore guard Demetri Goodson and freshman guard G.J. Vilarino hail from the Lone Star State. But in a state where everything is big, these two Gonzaga University Bulldogs might prove that good things do come in small packages. Goodson, from Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, stretches the tape measure to 5-11. Vilarino, from McKinney, Texas, located almost due north of Dallas, stands 6-0.
Senior Matt Bouldin has 1,320 points and has moved past 2009 teammate Jeremy Pargo and into 18th on the all-time Gonzaga University scoring charts. Bouldin needs 21 points to move past John Stockton (1,340 from 1981-84) and into 17th. Bouldin is also moving up the career lists for assists and steals. His 345 assists rank sixth and his 141 steals are fifth.
The nine straight West Coast Conference regular-season titles by Gonzaga University marks the longest current streak in the nation and ranks tied for fourth all-time in the NCAA Division I ranks, the Bulldogs knotting the University of Kentucky. The Wildcats won nine straight SEC crowns from 1944-52. UCLA’s 13 Pacific-10 Conference titles from 1967-79 head the list.
Gonzaga University senior guard Matt Bouldin has been named to the 2009-10 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy announced by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder. Bouldin becomes the eighth Bulldog to be nominated for the award.
Gonzaga University made big jumps in both polls tbhis week, going from 21st to 15th in the Associated Press Top 25 and from 22nd to a tie for 15th in the ESPN/USA Today balloting of coaches. Several schools on the Bulldogs schedule dot both polls, including Duke University, up one spot to seventh in both polls, who provides the oppositon this Saturday in Madison Squre Garden. Mcihigan State University is 12th in both polls, and the University of Cincinnati, a 61-59 overtime loser to the Bulldogs in the title game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational, is 25th in the AP vorting of sportswriters. The University of Memphis, who the Bulldogs visit Feb. 6; the University of Wisconsin, which lost to Gonzaga in the Maui semifinals; the University of Oklahoma, which comes to the Spokane Arena Dec. 31; Wake Forest University, which handed the Bulldogs a 77-75 home defeat; the University of Illinois, who the Bulldogs play Jan. 2 in the United Center in Chicago, and West Coast Conference foe Saint Mary’s College also received votes in at least one of the polls this week.
Saturday’s game will be Gonzaga University’s fifth game in Madison Square Garden, the Bulldogs 1-3 in their previous four outings in the famed building. The Bulldogs lost the 2003-04 season opener to Saint Joseph’s University 73-66 in the Coaches vs. Cancer showcase event. The next trip to the Garden was for the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT in November of 2006, Gonzaga downing then-second-ranked University of North Carolina 82-74 in the semifinals and losing to upstart Butler University 79-71 in the title game. Gonzaga made another trip to New York that same season for the inaugural meeting with Duke University, the Blue Devils taking a 61-54 verdict in the Aeropostale Classic.
Gonzaga University’s 54 free throws attempted last Saturday against Davidson College in the Comcast Battle in Seattle set a school record, eclipsing by the previous mark of 53 set against Loyola Marymount University February 24, 1984. Gonzaga has one other 50-plus free throw game in its history, going to the line 51 times against Fairfield University Dec. 11, 1990.
Freshman Elias Harris and sophomores Robert Sacre and Demetri Goodson each had career highs against Davidson College last Saturday. Harris scored 27 points, Sacre 23 and Goodson 22 as the trio helped pick up the slack with leading scorer Matt Bouldin sidelined with the lingering effects of a head-to-head collision suffered four days earlier in the Bulldogs game with Augustana College. The three players with 20-plus points marked the first time since March 5, 2006, against the University of San Diego in the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals hosted by the Bulldogs that three Zags had scored 20 or more points in a game. Adam Morrison had 24 and Derek Raivio and J.P. Batista 21 each in a 96-92 overtime victory.
G.J. Vilarino, Grant Gibbs, Andy Poling and Michael Hart all logged some personal achievements in Wednesday’s win over Augustana College. Vilarino, a freshman from McKinney, Texas, scored 10 points to hit double-digits in his career for the first time. Gibbs, a redshirt freshman from Marion, Iowa, scored a season/career high 8 points. Poling, a freshman redshirt who hails from Portland, Ore., scored a season/career high 5 points. Hart, a walk-on freshman redshirt from Portland, Ore., scored his first career point when he went 1-for-2 from the free throw line.
Elias Harris has the only double-double of the season for Gonzaga University, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against Washington State University.
Gonzaga University went 41-for-54 for 75.9 percent from the free throw line last Saturday against Davidson College, just the fifth time in 10 games the Bulldogs have been above 70.0 percent from the line. Gonzaga is shooting 68.9 percent from the stripe. Prior to the Davidson game the Bulldogs were 38-for-64 for 59.4 percent over the previous two games.
The 103 points Gonzaga University put up against Davidson College was the first time the Bulldogs had cracked the century mark since defeating Pepperdine University 101-59 Feb. 9, 2008, and was the most points for the Bulldogs since a 109-106 triple overtime win over Michigan State University in the 2005 EA Sports Maui Invitational and the most in regulation since a 105-45 waltz over Eastern Oregon State College Dec. 21, 2001.
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