Bulldogs Face Duke In Madison Square Garden
Dec. 19, 2006
Game No. 13 - Duke
Thurs., Dec. 21 - 6 p.m. PST
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 22/24 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (9-3; 0-0 West Coast) G - 2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, So., Chicago, IL (11.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.1 assists, 1.0 steals) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 177, Sr., Vancouver, WA (20.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals) G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-4, 215, Fr., Highlands Ranch, CO (8.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.9 assists, 0.8 steals) F - 42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 238, So., Clarkston, WA (16.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.3 blocks) F - 25 David Pendergraft, 6-6, 223, Jr., Brewster, WA (5.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 197-44 (8th year - 18th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Sat., Dec. 30 - 3 p.m. PST
Battle in Seattle
KeyArena - Seattle, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 25/20 UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA WOLF PACK (9-1; 0-0 ACC) G - 5 Marcelus Kemp, 6-5, 210, Jr., Seattle, WA (18.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals) G - 3 Kyle Shiloh, 6-3, 195, Sr., Bakersfield, CA (8.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.9 assists, 1.7 steals) G - 11 Ramon Sessions, 6-3, 190, Jr., Myrtle Beach, S.C. (12.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.8 assists, 0.9 steals) F - 31 Dennis Ikovlev, 6-7, 210, Sr., Postville, IA (5.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.6 blocks) F - 20 Nick Fazekas, 6-11, 240, Sr., Arvada, CO (20.6 ppg, 12.8 rpg, 2.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.9 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Fox (Eastern New Mexico, 1991) UNR RECORD: 61-14 (3rd year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 12/22 at Akron; 12/28 vs. Maine.NOTE: First ranking is Associated Press followed by USA TODAY/ESPN.
The stage is set for THE game, but some think it's coming a year too late. Granted, a Gonzaga University team with Adam Morrison facing a Duke University team with J.J. Redick would have been a collegiate basketball lover's dream. After all, the two staged one of the classic battles for the scoring title a year ago and the two icons hadn't swept a collegiate basketball nation since Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in 1979. But Thursday's game at Madison Square Garden will still take center stage. The Bulldogs are ranked 22nd by Associated Press and 24th by USA Today/ESPN, and the Blue Devils sixth in both polls. ESPN is also sending its main collegiate basketball crew - Dan Shulman calling the action, Dick Vitale providing the color commentary and Doris Burke on the sidelines. The game is the second half of a Madison Square Garden double-header being sponsored by Aeropostale with Virginia Tech facing Seton Hall in the 3 p.m. PST opener. Gonzaga and Duke are scheduled to tip at 6 p.m. PST.
Gonzaga University has had remarkable success against the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Bulldogs 8-1 all time against ACC competition following an 82-74 win over then second-ranked University of North Carolina on Nov. 24 in the semifinals of the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip Off at Madison Square Garden. Gonzaga's game Thursday with Duke University will be the second of three games against ACC foes this season, the Bulldogs with a Jan. 3 date at the University of Virginia. Virginia came to Spokane last year to meet the Bulldogs in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga has played the University of Maryland more than any other ACC team, losing to the Terrapins in the 1995 NCAA first round in Salt Lake City, Utah - Gonzaga's inaugural trip to the NCAA Tournament - and then defeating the Terps at their BB&T Classic at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6, 2003, and then winning last season at the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Gonzaga has won all eight meetings against ACC foes since that 1995 setback.
Gonzaga University enters Thursday's game coming off a 96-83 loss to the University of Georgia last Saturday in the Chick-fil-A Classic for Kids at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. The Bulldogs had a season-high 21 turnovers that led to 30 Georgia points in the setback, and Georgia also grabbed 16 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second-chance points. The Zags had two games of 20-plus turnovers a year ago, committing 25 in a 79-70 win at Loyola Marymount University and 20 in an 84-75 victory at the University of San Francisco.
After going the first 10 games of the season without being out rebounded - the University of North Carolina got a stalemate with 42 rebounds - Gonzaga University has now been out rebounded in its last two games. The University of Washington held a 41-39 edge in Gonzaga's 97-77 win and the University of Georgia won the battle of the boards 34-28 last Saturday. Gonzaga holds a +5.8 rebounding margin this season.
Gonzaga University extended its home winning streak to 45 games Dec. 9 with a 97-77 win over the University of Washington. That streak is the longest current streak in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Bulldogs are 33-0 in the 3-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center and won their final 12 home games next door in The Kennel. Since beginning the streak Feb. 22, 2003, with a 69-60 win over Tulsa University, the Bulldogs have also played - and won - six games at the downtown Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. That gives the Bulldogs a 51-game winning streak in the city of Spokane. The last time the Bulldogs lost in Spokane was Feb. 19, 2003, to the University of Portland 72-68 in The Kennel.
Gonzaga University will try to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since the 2002-03 season when they take the court Thursday against Duke University. The Bulldogs lost to Stanford University 81-71 at the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2002, then fell at home 79-78 in overtime to Saint Joseph's University on Dec. 31, 2002.
Derek Raivio became the 29th member of Gonzaga University's 1,000-point club earlier this season and now has 1,086 career points to rank 23rd. Jack Curran (1947-50) is 22nd with 1,121 and Dan Dickau (2001-02) is 21st with 1,125. The senior from Vancouver, Wash., is averaging 10.3 ppg in his career.
The Dec. 9 game against the University of Washington in the McCarthey Athletic Center was Gonzaga University's lone home game in the month of December. The Bulldogs won't return home until Jan. 6 when they open West Coast Conference play against Loyola Marymount University. Following Thursday's game Gonzaga will conclude the month Dec. 30 in The Battle in Seattle against the University of Nevada, then head to the University of Virginia on Jan. 3.
Derek Raivio scored 19 points last Saturday against the University of Georgia, snapping his streak of eight straight 20-point games. He had never scored 20 points in back-to-back games until that stretch. He has nine 20-point games this season. Raivio's 198 career 3-pointers rank fifth and his 460 attempts are fifth. His 126 career steals are sixth and his 295 career assists are ninth.
Freshman Matt Bouldin made the best of his first career start Dec. 9 against the University of Washington, posting a season-high 21 points on a 9-for-12 night from the field in 31 minutes. He had gone just 3-for-23 from the field over the four previous games. He also dished out 5 assists and had just two turnovers against the Huskies. He was also in the starting lineup last Saturday against the University of Georgia, hitting 5-of-8 shots from the field on his way to 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. But he had an uncharacteristic 5 turnovers, the most in his young career. The native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., is second in assist-to-turnover ration at 1.52.
Jeremy Pargo has grabbed at least three rebounds in 11-of-12 games this season, including a season-high 6 against Rice University. He's also handed out at least five assists in five of the last six games - 5 against the University of Georgia, 6 versus the University of Idaho, the University of Texas and the University of Washington, and 7 against Portland State University. His "low" game in that stretch was 4 against Washington State University.
Derek Raivio has made 29 straight free throws since missing his final attempt against the University of North Carolina. He shares the school record of 41 straight with Geoff Goss. Raivio didn't get to the line for the first time this season last Saturday against the University of Georgia.
Look for Josh Heytvelt to become more active in the post on Thursday against Duke University. Heytvelt went 6-for-9 from the field in Gonzaga University's loss to the University of Georgia last Saturday, but five of his shots were from 3-point range. "Josh can shoot from out there, but we need more of a post presence from him," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "Sean Mallon was active in the post against Georgia, but for us to win we need a contribution from everybody down there."
Opponents are shooting 39.5 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from 3-point range this season, quite an improvement from the 43.2 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from 3-point range of a year ago.
Gonzaga University head men's basketball coach Mark Few announced the signing of four players to national letters-of-intent to join the Bulldogs next fall. Scheduled to join the Bulldogs next season are freshmen Austin Daye, Woodbridge High in Irvine, Calif.; Steven Gray, Bainbridge High, Bainbridge, Wash., and Robert Sacre (pronounced sack-rEE), Handsworth Secondary School, North Vancouver, British Columbia, and junior college transfer Ira Brown, Phoenix, Ariz., College who hails from Conroe, Texas. Daye, a 6-10, 190-pound wing, was ranked as the 32nd-best player nationally and as the ninth best small forward by one scouting service in the Class of 2007. He was named to the Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West first team as the seventh-leading vote getter and was named to the Hot 100 players for 2007 as selected by Sports Illustrated. Daye averaged 16 ppg, 9 rpg and 3.4 blocks/game as a junior for coach John Halagan. Gray, a 6-4, 190-pound guard, was ranked as the 52nd best player and the 13th best shooting guard in the Class of 2007. He was also named to the Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West second team. He averaged 24.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4 assists and 2.5 steals last season for coach Scott Orness. Sacre, a 7-0, 255-pound post, was rated as the 100th best player in the Class of '07 and the seventh best center. He averaged 25 ppg, 12 rpg and 4 blocks/game for Handsworth Secondary School and coach Randy Storey last season, earning MVP of the British Columbia Provincial Tournament. Brown, a 6-4, 235-pound forward, was ranked as the 42nd best junior college player in the country after averaging 17 ppg, 10 rpg and shooting 60 percent from the field for Phoenix College and Coach Matt Gordon. A late bloomer to the collegiate game, Brown graduated from Willis High in Texas in May of 2001 and pursued a professional baseball career. He was drafted in the eight round of the 2001 Major League Draft by the Kansas City Royals and played four seasons of minor league baseball, including the 2002 season with the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League. He attended Phoenix College last season, averaging 17.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, shooting 57.6 percent from the field (253-for-439) and blocking 59 shots. "This is the first time we've ever had a class nationally ranked," Few said of the recruiting class ranked 11th best in the nation by one scouting service. "We got some offense, we got some size and we got some athleticism. This is a talented group."
Gonzaga is tied for eighth for the longest active NCAA Tournament Appearances Streak. The Bulldogs made their eighth straight appearance in 2006, joining Wisconsin, Texas and Florida. Arizona extended its streak to 22 with last spring's selection, followed by Kansas (17), Kentucky (15), Duke (11) and Michigan State (9). Streaks that ended in 2006 were Cincinnati (14), Stanford (11) and Oklahoma State (8).
Gonzaga has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 436. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland. UNLV held the all-time streak of 601 entering the current season.
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