Dickau Leads Bulldogs As They Host Mountaineers

Dec. 21, 2001

For the past three seasons, Dan Dickau has led an overachieving group of Gonzaga players to exciting, albeit ultimately disappointing, postseason finishes.

This year, the expectations for the senior point guard and his teammates are higher than usual. So far, the Bulldogs are living up to their end of the bargain.

Dickau hopes to lead 24th-ranked Gonzaga (9-2) to its seventh straight win as the Bulldogs play host to Eastern Oregon on Friday.

Gonzaga is coming off a 67-44 victory over Washington State on Saturday night, as Dickau's 23 points helped complete an impressive sweep of the other Division 1 teams in the state for the third time in four seasons.

Gonzaga's stature has increased while Dickau has played with the team, as the Bulldogs are one of only three teams - along with Michigan State and Duke - to advance to the third round of the NCAA tournament in each of the last three years.

Dickau, who leads this year's squad in scoring 17.7 points, is playing like he did at the end of last season. He scored in double digits the final 15 games of the season, including 19 in the round of 16 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA tournament.

The higher visibility of the school's basketball program not only put pressure on the players themselves, but according to coach Mark Few, gives teams more inclination to play a spoiler role.

"We're ranked and everybody comes out and tries to knock us off," Few said. "We're not Duke. We're not going to blow anybody out, but we beat two really good teams this week."

The emergence of sophomore center Cory Violette has given the team a solid inside-outside presence. Violette added 13 points and eight rebounds against Washington State, marking the first time in four games that Violette did not get a double-double.

Violette, the West Coast Conference player of the week the past two weeks, is averaging 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds his last four contests.

Eastern Oregon (4-4), which has lost all three previous meetings with the Bulldogs, is coming off a 71-67 victory over instate rival Concordia. Trevor Exline had 19 points and eight rebounds, and Jerome Toby added 13 points and nine assists as the Mountaineers snapped a three-game losing streak.

Exline leads the Mountaineers with averages of 14.7 points and 7.5 rebounds, while Toby averages 11.5 points and leads the team with 5.5 assists and 2.5 steals.



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