Gonzaga Tries To Bulldog Cowboys
Dec. 23, 2004
Game No. 11 - Oklahoma State
Tues., Dec. 28 - 6:30 p.m. PST
Touchstone Energy All-College Classic
Ford Center - Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
No. 13 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (9-1; 0-0 West Coast Conference) G - 5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 168, So., Vancouver, WA (11.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.1 assists, 2.2 steals) G - 22 Erroll Knight, 6-7, 211, Jr., Seattle, WA (6.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.4 steals) C - 1 Ronny Turiaf, 6-10, 249, Sr., Le Robert, Martinique (20.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.8 assists, 1.3 blocks) F - 3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, So., Spokane, WA (19.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks) F - 32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 218, So., Spokane, WA (11.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.7 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987) GONZAGA RECORD: 142-33 (6th year - 16th at GU) CAREER RECORD: Same
Thurs., Dec. 30 - 5 p.m. PST
Paige Sports Arena - Columbia, MO
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI TIGERS (6-5; 0-0 Big 12 Conference) G - 1 Jimmy McKinney, 6-3, 208, Jr., St. Louis, MO (8.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals) G - 2 Jason Conley, 6-5, 212, Sr., Silver Spring, MD (10.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks) G - 12 Jason Horton, 6-0, 173, Fr., Dallas, TX (4.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.3 assists, 1.1 steals) C - 41 Linas Kleiza, 6-8, 245, So., Kaunas, Lithuania (17.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks) F - 14 Kevin Young, 6-9, 263, Jr., Kingston, Jamaica (5.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.9 blocks) HEAD COACH: Quin Snyder (Duke, 1989) UM RECORD: 106-68 (6th year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.
Gonzaga heads into Big 12 Conference country to face Oklahoma State on Tuesday and Missouri on Thursday following a short Christmas break. The Bulldogs face the third-ranked Cowboys at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., in the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic, then head to the brand new Paige Center on the Missouri campus in Columbia for a re-match of a year ago with the Tigers.
Gonzaga is 3-3 all-time against the current makeup of the Big 12 Conference. The Bulldogs have defeated Baylor, Missouri and Texas while falling to Colorado, Kansas and Kansas State. The Baylor, Colorado, Missouri and Texas games were played on neutral courts, while the Bulldogs met Kansas in the 1998-99 season opener in fabled Phogg Allen Fieldhouse and Kansas State in Manhattan in the 1994 National Invitation Tournament second round.
Gonzaga will have had a week between games when they return to action Tuesday against Oklahoma State. The Bulldogs defeated Eastern Washington 83-70 in the Spokane Arena last Tuesday, have four days off prior to returning for a Christmas-night practice and ensuing trip into the Midwest.
Adam Morrison scored 25 points and Ronny Turiaf had 17 in Gonzaga's win over Eastern Washington. It was the 19th straight victory for the Bulldogs over the Eagles and the 27th win in the last 28 meetings.
If Oklahoma State maintains its number three ranking (the new poll will be out on Monday prior to Tuesday's game) it will mark the second time in two weeks the Bulldogs have played the No. 3 team in the country. The Bulldogs thumped No. 3 and previously undefeated Georgia Tech 85-73 in the Las Vegas Showdown on Dec. 18. Gonzaga has played four teams ranked No. 3 since 1999 and the Bulldogs are now 2-2 against such teams. The Bulldogs fell to No. 3 and eventual national champion Connecticut in the 1999 NCAA Elite Eight, lost to No. 3 and Final Four participant Michigan State in the 2001 Sweet 16 and defeated No. 3 Missouri 87-80 in overtime last year in the inaugural Battle in Seattle at KeyArena.
Gonzaga has never played a game in the state of Oklahoma in its 46-year NCAA Division I history, nor have the Bulldogs faced an Oklahoma-based team.
Senior Ronny Turiaf has not grabbed fewer than five rebounds in any game this season and has four double-digit rebounding nights to his credit including a career-high 14 against Massachusetts.
Sophomore Adam Morrison is 19-for-31 from the field for 61.3 percent in his last two games. He was 11-for-18 against Georgia Tech and 8-for-13 against Eastern Washington.
Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes has 11 assists, six steals and just four turnovers in his last 49 minutes spanning three games. His 2.55 assist/turnover ratio for the season ranks third on the team.
Erroll Knight is expected to be fine following a hard landing on his hip in last Tuesday's game with Eastern Washington. Knight had precautionary x-rays following the game and was allowed to go home for Christmas break with what appears to be nothing more than a bruised hip. Knight has started three straight games since returning to action after suffering a badly sprained right thumb Nov. 17 just two days prior to the season opener. Knight's first action of the season came Dec. 4 in his hometown in the Battle in Seattle as Gonzaga defeated Massachusetts 68-57 in KeyArena. In his five games he is averaging 20.2 minutes/game, 6.2 ppg and 3.6 rpg.
Gonzaga is shooting 51.5 percent from the field, and seven regulars are shooting 50.0 percent or better. J.P Batista has hit 22-of-39 shots for 56.4 percent, followed by Ronny Turiaf (61-for-111 for 55.0), Sean Mallon (39-of-71 for 54.9), Adam Morrison (76-of-151 for 50.3), Erroll Knight (12-of-24 for 50.0), Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes (10-of-20 for 50.0) and David Pendergraft (8-of-16 for 50.0).
Although Gonzaga's depth has been challenged this season with the early-season injury to Erroll Knight and the season-ending knee injury to Nathan Doudney, the Bulldogs still go eight deep. Eight currently active players are averaging double-digit minutes, paced by the 35.3 minutes/game of Adam Morrison, the 34.6 by Derek Raivio and the 32.3 by Ronny Turiaf. Sean Mallon (24.9), Erroll Knight (20.2), J.P. Batista (19.8), Pierre Marie Altidor Cespedes (19.5) and David Pendergraft (11.1) also average double-0digit minutes. Doudney was averaging 19.9 minutes/game when his season ended.
Gonzaga is 70-12 when ranked, including 7-1 this season. The Bulldogs are 29-0 at home when ranked, 27-3 away and 14-9 on a neutral court.
Although he took just four shots against Eastern Washington, point guard Derek Raivio is 14-for-23 from the field in his last three outings for 60.9 percent. He's 6-for-12 from 3-point range in that same stretch despite missing both long-range attempts against EWU.
Gonzaga made one of the biggest jumps of the season in the Associated Press Top 25 rankings this season, the Bulldogs moving up nine spots to 13th this week following their 85-73 win over then No. 3 Georgia Tech. Gonzaga also moved back into the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 22, the Bulldogs coming in at No. 22 after being the first team listed in the "others receiving votes" category the previous week. Illinois, who earlier this season downed Gonzaga 89-72 when the Fighting Illini were ranked No. 5, remained No. 1 in both polls. The new polls will be released Monday prior to the Bulldogs Tuesday game with Oklahoma State.
Gonzaga junior guard Nathan Doudney will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Doudney, who redshirted last season at Gonzaga after transferring from Texas Tech University, was injured early in the second half of the Dec. 7 game at Washington State when he collided with the Cougars Chris Schlatter in front of the Gonzaga bench. The Rockwall, Texas, native had a MRI that revealed the tear. He will undergo surgery in mid-January. The normal rehabilitation period is approximately nine months. Doudney had appeared in each of the first seven regular-season games this season with four starts, averaging 19.9 minutes/game. He was averaging 3.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals.
WHAT SOPHOMORE JINX? Don't try to tell Gonzaga University's sophomore trio of Adam Morrison, Sean Mallon and Derek Raivio there's supposed to be a sophomore jinx. The trio is averaging 31.6 minutes/game, 14.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 3.0 assists/game. They are shooting a combined 51.0 percent from the field (150-294), 41.9 percent from 3-point range (36-for-86) and 76.9 percent from the free throw line (90-for-117).
YOU CAN CALL ME: There has been much debate on television, on the radio and in the print media this season over the pronunciation of Gonzaga University sophomore Derek Raivio's last name. While the sophomore from Vancouver, Wash., insists he doesn't care, the correct pronunciation is rye-VEE-oh. All of last season and through the early part of this season everyone has gone with rav-EE-oh.
HOME, SWEET HOME: Gonzaga University has a modest 17-game home winning streak that ranks tied for fifth with Air Force in the NCAA Division I ranks through games of Wednesday. Wisconsin leads the way with a 33-game streak, followed by Oklahoma State University at 22 and Western Michigan University at 21.
BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: Gonzaga University lost the battle of the boards for the first time this season when Eastern Washington University held the upper hand 30-29. Despite the lopsided loss to Illinois earlier this season, Gonzaga prevailed on the boards 43-29 for a season-high +14. Montana held the Bulldogs at bay as each team grabbed 35 rebounds.
DOUBLE DIGITS: Ronny Turiaf has scored 17 points in each of the last two games after having a streak of 19 double-digit scoring games snapped when he scored 2 points against Saint Louis just four days after suffering a badly sprained ankle at Washington State. He has scored in double digits in 9-of-10 games this season, including a career-high 40 points against Idaho. He became the first Gonzaga player since Jim McPhee to hit the 40 plateau. McPhee had 42 points against Loyola Marymount twice in an 8-day stretch in 1990.
POW: Gonzaga University's Derek Raivio was been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week. He was instrumental in the Bulldogs 85-73 upset of No. 3 Georgia Tech, matching his career high of 21 points, grabbing five rebounds, swiping three steals, and dishing out two assists. Plus, he had just one turnover against Georgia Tech's full court pressure defense in 36 minutes of action.
THREE BALL: Gonzaga University has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 371. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, when the Bulldogs went 0-for-5 at home against Portland.
ON A ROLL: Since starting the 2003 season 8-5, Gonzaga University is 53-8. Following that 8-5 start the Bulldogs put together a 9-game winning streak and went 16-4 down the stretch, last year's club went 28-3 and this year's team is off to a 9-1 start.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Oklahoma State University will be the third Top 5 team and the fourth Top 25 team Gonzaga University has played this season. The Bulldogs play current No. 1 University of Illinois when they were ranked fifth, then No. 14 University of Washington and then No. 3 Georgia Tech. Gonzaga is 2-1 against Top 25 teams this season, beating UW and GT.
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