Battle In Seattle Next Stop For Bulldogs

Dec. 27, 2006

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 14 - Nevada
Sat., Dec. 30 - 3 p.m. PST
Comcast 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
G -   2 Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, 219, So., Chicago, IL
       (11.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.1 assists, 1.0 steals)
G -   5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 177, Sr., Vancouver, WA
       (19.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals)
G -  15 Matt Bouldin, 6-4, 215, Fr., Highlands Ranch, CO
       (8.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.9 assists, 0.8 steals)
F -  42 Josh Heytvelt, 6-11, 238, So., Clarkston, WA
       (16.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.3 blocks)
F -  32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 233, Sr., Spokane, WA
      (7.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.7 assists, 0.5 steals)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  197-45 (8th year - 18th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same

No. 24/18 UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA WOLF PACK (10-1; 0-0 Western Athletic) G - 5 Marcelus Kemp, 6-5, 210, Jr., Seattle, WA (17.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks) G - 3 Kyle Shiloh, 6-3, 195, Sr., Bakersfield, CA (8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.8 assists, 1.5 steals) G - 11 Ramon Sessions, 6-3, 190, Jr., Myrtle Beach, S.C. (13.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.6 assists, 0.8 steals) F - 31 Dennis Ikovlev, 6-7, 210, Sr., Postville, IA (5.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.6 blocks) F - 20 Nick Fazekas, 6-11, 240, Sr., Arvada, CO (20.9 ppg, 12.6 rpg, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.7 blocks) HEAD COACH: Mark Fox (Eastern New Mexico, 1991) UNR RECORD: 62-14 (3rd year) CAREER RECORD: Same. GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 12/28 vs. Maine.

Game No. 15 - Virginia
Wed., Jan. 3 - 6 p.m. PST
John Paul Jones Arena - Charlottesville, VA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane); 1340 KCTR (Tri-Cities); 980 KUSA (Yakima)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
G -   2 J. R. Reynolds, 6-2, 188, Sr., Roanoke, VA
      (15.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 assists, 0.8 steals)
G -  44 Sean Singletary, 6-0, 185, Jr., Philadelphia, PA
      (15.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.4 assists, 1.2 steals)
C -  34 Ryan Pettinella, 6-9, 238, Jr., Webster, NY
      (5.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
F -   24 Mamadi Diane, 6-5, 197, So., Potomac, MD
      (11.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals)
F -   33 Jason Cain, 6-10, 225, Sr., Philadelphia, PA
      (7.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.7 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Dave Leito (Northeastern, 1983)
UVA RECORD:  22-18 (2nd year)  CAREER RECORD:  102-87 (7th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA:  12/28 vs. American.

NOTE: First ranking is Associated Press followed by USA TODAY/ESPN.

For the first time since Dec. 9 Gonzaga University will play a game in the state of Washington when the Bulldogs meet the University of Nevada in the fourth annual Comcast Battle in Seattle at KeyArena on Saturday. But for the seventh time in the last 10 games the Bulldogs will be away from the friendly confines of the McCarthey Athletic Center. While Saturday's crowd can be expected to be pro Gonzaga, the Bulldogs must once again take to the road. And to the road they've taken plenty thus far this season. By the time the team completes Saturday's return trip home the Bulldogs will have logged approximately 11,745 air miles with another cross country trip to Charlottesville, Va., on the horizon for next Wednesday's game at the University of Virginia. That trip will bring Gonzaga's air miles since Nov. 21 to 15,865. The NCAA doesn't keep such a statistic, but the Bulldogs have to be among the leaders for frequent flyer miles.

The fourth annual Comcast Battle in Seattle will match Gonzaga University against the University of Nevada at KeyArena in a game to be televised on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. PST. The contest is sponsored by Northwest Sports, and if the last three games are any indication fans are in for another entertaining game when the Wolf Pack, ranked 18th by USA Today/ESPN and 24th by the Associated Press, provides the opposition. The inaugural affair saw 17th-ranked Gonzaga down No. 3 University of Missouri 87-80 in overtime on Dec. 13, 2003. The Bulldogs topped the University of Massachusetts 68-57 on Dec. 4, 2004, and last year the 9th-ranked Bulldogs used Adam Morrison's bank trey with 2.5 seconds to play to down Oklahoma State University and legendary head coach Eddie Sutton 64-62.

Gonzaga University and the University of Nevada are no strangers to KeyArena, home of the NBA's Seattle Sonics. The two teams met in the second round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament, the Seattle pod designated as part of the St. Louis Regional. The second-seeded Bulldogs disposed of No. 15 seed Valparaiso University 76-49 but were upset by the 10th-seeded Wolf Pack 91-72. Two players from each team will return to KeyArena this Saturday in the first meeting between the teams since that NCAA fray. Two Bulldog seniors - Derek Raivio and Sean Mallon - were in action in 2004. Mallon played 23 minutes off the bench as Ronny Turiaf got in early foul trouble, finishing with 9 points, 5 rebounds and a steal. Raivio played 12 minutes in a reserve role and missed his lone shot of the afternoon. For the Wolf Pack, Nick Fazekas played 37 minutes, scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Marcelus Kemp came off the bench to play 13 minutes and score 2 points. All four players are expected to have even greater roles this Saturday as all four will more than likely be in the starting lineup.

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 three games. The University of Washington held a 41-39 edge in Gonzaga's 97-77 win, the University of Georgia won the battle of the boards 34-28 in a 97-77 victory over Gonzaga and Duke University bested the Bulldogs 39-38 in a 61-54 Blue Devils win last week in Madison Square Garden.

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 has lost three straight games just once in Mark Few's eight seasons as head coach, something the Bulldogs will try to avoid Saturday against The University of Nevada. The Bulldogs lost back-to-back games in the same season for the first time since the 2002-03 season with losses to the University of Georgia and Duke University in their last two outings. The Bulldogs dropped three straight games in December of 2000 - Few's second year as head coach - with setbacks at Boise State University, to the University of Florida in the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla., and at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Gonzaga went on to finish 26-7 that season and advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Derek Raivio became the 29th member of Gonzaga University's 1,000-point club earlier this season and now has 1,090 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.

Derek Raivio's 198 career 3-pointers and 460 attempts ranked fifth on the Gonzaga University charts. His 127 career steals are sixth and his 295 career assists are ninth.

In starting the last three games, Gonzaga University freshman Matt Bouldin is averaging 12.3 ppg, is 16-for-27 from the field for 59.3 percent, has 13 rebounds for 4.3 rpg, has dished out 13 assists and is averaging 29.7 minutes/game. In his last eight games he has 26 assists and 14 turnovers for a 1.9 assist/turnover ratio. For the season his 1.6 assist/turnover ratio leads the team. He 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.

Jeremy Pargo has grabbed at least three rebounds in 12-of-13 games this season, including a career-high and team-leading 9 rebounds against Duke University. He's handed out 38 assists in the last seven games for an average of 5.4 assists/game. His 4.1 assists/game lead the team.

Derek Raivio has made 31 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 against the University of Georgia, then made both of his free throws last week against Duke University.

After going a combined 5-for-17 from the field against in-state rivals Washington State University and the University of Washington, sophomore guard Jeremy Pargo has come back to go 14-for-25 in Gonzaga University's last two outings. He went 6-for-12 against the University of Georgia on his way to 17 points and 8-for-13 against Duke University while scoring a career-high 21 points.

The 20 first-half points Duke University scored was the lowest first-half opponent total for Gonzaga University since they led the University of Northern Colorado 50-19 at halftime in the final regular-season game of the 2005 season. The Bulldogs held St. Louis University to 17 first-half points earlier that season in taking a 32-17 halftime lead. Gonzaga held the University of Texas San Antonio to 19 second-half points this season in a 92-48 victory.

Micah Downs, hopeful of playing this weekend, will be sidelined until at least the start of West Coast Conference play as his injured foot continues to heal. He had a pin inserted six weeks ago. David Burgess (knee) and Theo Davis (shoulder surgery) continue to rehabilitate and are hopeful of seeing action this season., Larry Gurganious (back) will e sidelined until at least the end of January and may not return this year as a vertebrae stress fracture continues to heal.

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 437. 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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