Bulldogs Host Portland State Tuesday At 5 P.M.

Dec. 22, 2008

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 11 - Portland State University
Tuesday, December 23 - 5 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 listing)
No. 7/7 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (8-2; 0-0 West Coast)
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 220, Sr., Chicago, IL
       (9.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 7.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.3 blocks)
G - 15 Matt Bouldin, 6-5, 224, Jr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (10.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.7 assists, 1.7 steals)
G - 22 Micah Downs, 6-8, 194, Sr., Kirkland, WA
       (10.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.4 blocks)
C -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 260, Sr., Clarkston, WA
       (15.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.1 blocks)
F -   5 Austin Daye, 6-11, 200, So., Irvine, CA
       (13.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.4 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  244-62 (10th year - 20th at GU) CAREER RECORD:  Same

PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY VIKINGS (8-3; 0-0 Big Sky) G - 10 Jeremiah Dominquez, 5-6, 150, Sr., Salem, OR (12.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals) G - 3 Andre Murray, 6-2, 200, Sr., Los Angeles, CA (11.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.4 assists, 0.9 steals) F - 21 Phil Nelson, 6-7, 220, So, Keizer, OR (11.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks F - 14 Kyle Coston, 6-8, 210, Jr., Lynden, WA (7.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 44 Jamie Jones, 6-7, 215, Jr., El Segundo, CA (11.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.2 blocks) HEAD COACH: Ken Bone (Seattle Pacific, 1983) PSU RECORD: 62-42 (4th year) CAREER RECORD: 320-160 (17th year). GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 12 - University of Utah
Wednesday, December 31 - 5 p.m. PST
Jon M. Huntsman Center - Salt Lake City, UT
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); Oldies 101.1 FM (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: CBS College Sports (Check local listing)
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH RUNNIN' UTES (6-4; 0-0 Mountain West)
G -    2 Jace Tavita, 6-4, 190, Brighton, UT
      (0.3 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 1.3 assists)
G -  11 Lawrence Borha, 6-3, 205, Sr., Staten Island, NY
      (10.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals)
G -   15 Carlon Brown, 6-5, 205, So., Riverside, CA
       (9.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks)
C -   50 Luke Nevill, 7-2, 265, Sr., Perth, Australia
      (16.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.1 blocks)
F -   14 Kim Tillie, 6-10, 215, Jr., Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
       (3.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Jim Boylen (Maine, 1987)
UTAH RECORD:  24-19 (2nd year)  CAREER RECORD:  Same.
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  12/22 at Utah State; 12/27 at UC Irvine.

NOTE: Ranking is Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

Gonzaga University, faced with travel issues in getting to snowy Seattle last weekend for the Battle in Seattle, will face Portland State University Tuesday at the McCarthey Athletic Center, the Vikings having their share of travel woes getting to Spokane. The Bulldogs, scheduled to leave at 2 p.m. last Friday for their flight to Seattle, finally took off at nearly 5 p.m., forcing the squad to cancel their scheduled Friday shoot around at KeyArena. PSU, trying to get out of snowy and icy Portland on Monday, finally had a bus arranged and the Vikings set out for Spokane - via Seattle and Snoqualmie Pass. Part of I-84 - the normal route between Spokane and Portland - was closed from Troutdale to Hood River because of weather conditions, thus forcing the Vikings to take the northern route through Seattle. Game time is 5 p.m. Tuesday.

A.J. Price scored a season-high 24 points - including the 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime - and Jerome Dyson scored six of his 21 points in the extra period to rally No. 2 Connecticut to a wild 88-83 victory over eighth-ranked Gonzaga last Saturday in The Battle in Seattle. Dyson and Price rallied the Huskies from 11 points down with 12 minutes remaining inside sold-out KeyArena. Steven Gray scored a career-high 23 points for the Bulldogs, who lost for the second time in three games. Gavin Edwards had 14 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and a key steal late in regulation, while Price added a career-best 10 assists for Connecticut, which had only two opponents finish within a dozen points of them this season until Saturday. Connecticut rallied from an 11-point deficit eight minutes into the second half, tying the game at 74 with 7.8 seconds left in regulation on a forced 3-pointer by Price with defender Jeremy Pargo in his face. Behind Edwards and Dyson, UConn scored 10 of the first 13 points in overtime to stay unbeaten. Gonzaga led 72-70 with 1:44 left in regulation after two free throws by UConn's Jeff Adrien. The Huskies then had the ball with less than a minute remaining and a chance to tie, but Gonzaga's Austin Daye tipped the inbounds from Price into the air and then fired the ball off Price out of bounds for a heady turnover. But then Pargo threw it away to Edwards near midcourt on a long pass attempt, dooming Gonzaga's chance to clinch its first win over a team so highly ranked since an upset of No. 2 North Carolina two seasons ago. Price made only one of two ensuing free throws with 33.1 seconds remaining to make it 72-71. Matt Bouldin answered with two free throws with 24.7 seconds left to put Gonzaga ahead 74-71, before the Price's heroics.

Gonzaga University finds itself in seventh place in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls this week. The Bulldogs were eighth in last week's AP voting and tied for seventh in the balloting of the coaches in the USA Today/ESPN rankings. The Bulldogs one up one spot in the AP poll and held seventh in the coaches voting following an 88-83 overtime loss to the University of Connecticut, second in both polls again this week behind unanimous No. 1 University of North Carolina. One other Top 25 team joins UConn on the Bulldogs schedule, the University of Tennessee checking in at No. 16 in the AP rankings and No. 21 according to the coaches. Gonzaga travels to Rocky Top Jan. 7.

For just the second time since Nov. 18, Gonzaga University will be home when Portland State University visits Tuesday night. The Bulldogs went exactly one month between home games when Texas Southern University visited Dec. 18, the first action in the McCarthey Athletic Center for the Bulldogs since Nov. 18 when they downed the University of Idaho. Since that Idaho game Gonzaga has logged 13,067 miles through last Saturday's game in Seattle.

Steven Gray set career highs for points (23) and rebounds (7), and tied his career high with assists (4) last Saturday against second-ranked University of Connecticut in the Battle in Seattle. The 23 points surpassed his previous high of 21 set last season against Davidson in the NCAA Tournament.

Gonzaga University leads the series against Portland State University 18-6, the Bulldogs winning the last 10 meetings. The last time the squads played was Nov. 30, 2006, when GU captured a 69-51 victory. PSU played the first game in the new McCarthey Athletic Center Nov. 19, 2004, with the Bulldogs claiming a 98-80 victory.

Senior guard Jeremy Pargo scored a season-high 16 points last Saturday against second-ranked University of Connecticut. He has moved up to fourth in the nation in assists at 7.2/game and despite having more turnovers (5) than assists (4) for the first time this season, he still ranks 17th in assist/turnover ratio at 2.88.

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 55-2 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 244 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, and he and teammate Josh Heytvelt have been named to the Naismith Trophy watch list as well. Pargo is eligible for the John R. Wooden All-American Team and Player of the Year Trophy, and he and Heytvelt are also in line for the Naismith Trophy as present by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. Pargo, a native of Chicago, Ill., was also nominated for the Wooden Award a year ago, while Heytvelt was also a Naismith candidate last season. Pargo becomes the eighth Bulldog selected as a Wooden candidate. Adam Morrison was a 2006 John R. Wooden Top Five All-America selection, Dan Dickau was so honored in 2002 as Gonzaga's inaugural Wooden Award Top Five honoree, and Blake Stepp (2004) and Casey Calvary (2001) were named Wooden Award Top 10 All-Americans. Heytvelt, who hails from nearby Clarkston, Wash., becomes Gonzaga's first two-time Naismith nominee. Adam Morrison is the only other Bulldog to be nominated for the award in 2006. "Both players are very deserving of these nominations," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "They have worked hard on and off the court to elevate their games to the national stage. They are as good as any player in the country at their respective positions."

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few added two players to the Bulldog fold to letters-of-intent. Sam Dower, a 6-9, 220-pound left-handed senior center/forward from Osseo, Minn., High School and 6-5, 185-pound wing Mangisto "Manny" Arop will join GU next season. 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.



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