Gonzaga Battles Saint Joseph's Monday
Dec. 30, 2001
Game No. 14 - St. Joseph's Hawks
Monday, Dec. 31 - 4 p.m. PST
Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse - Philadelphia, PA
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 3:45 p.m. PST
TV: KHQ-TV Channel 6 (Spokane), COMCAST (NJ/Philadelphia Corridor)
No. 22 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (11-2, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
SAINT JOSEPH'S UNIVERSITY (6-3, 0-0 Atlantic 10 Conference)
Monday, Jan. 7 - 9 p.m. PST
The Pit - Albuquerque, NM
Radio: News Talk AM 1510 KGA - Pre-game show at 8:45 p.m. PST
UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO (9-3, 0-0 Mountain West Conference)
BULLDOGS CRUISE: After opening a 21-3 lead in the first nine minutes, Gonzaga University flew past the Hawks of Monmouth University 79-54 Saturday in tiny but packed Boylan Gym. With a sellout crowd of 2,500 on hand to watch the 22nd-ranked Bulldogs in their first trip east since 1993, Gonzaga left little doubt about the outcome. With Anthony Reason scoring eight of Gonzaga's first 14 points, the Bulldogs scored 17 straight points in a 5:54 stretch to open the 18-point lead. Monmouth, which lost to Gonzaga 95-69 last season in Spokane, cut the lead to 23-12, but the Hawks could get no closer than 11 points. Gonzaga had a 42-24 halftime lead, and then scored the first nine points of the second half to erase any lingering doubts about the outcome.
MORE HAWKS: There's another set of Hawks looming on the horizon for Gonzaga University when the Bulldogs head to Philadelphia and Saint Joseph's University for a New Year's Eve battle Monday night. The Bulldogs will be trying to get an eastern Washington sweep for the season against the Hawks. Eastern Washington University met SJU in the BCA Classic in Berkeley, Calif., in the season opener and stunned the then 10th ranked Hawks 68-67. SJU is now 6-3 after suffering back-to-back losses in the Tournament of Champions in Charlotte, NC, Dec. 21-22. The Hawks lost to Georgia State University and the University of North Carolina to fall out of the national polls. SJU had been ranked 15th prior to the setbacks in their last outings prior to Christmas. Gonzaga, meanwhile, has faced three ranked teams this season. Gonzaga lost at No. 2 University of Illinois 76-58 in the season opener, defeated No. 23 University of Texas 67-64 in the Great Alaska Shootout semifinals and stopped No. 16 Fresno State University 87-77 in the FAB Four Classic.
ON THE TUBE: The Saint Joseph's game will be brought back to Spokane on KHQ-TV Channel 6. Game time is 4 p.m. PST. The game will also be televised on Comcast in the Philadelphia market.
BULLDOGS 22ND: Gonzaga University is ranked 22nd in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25 polls for the week of Dec. 24-30, up two notches from the previous week. It's the third straight week the Bulldogs have been in the AP rankings and the second week in the USA TODAY/ESPN poll. This week's ranking equals the highest regular-season ranking by the Bulldogs in either major poll. Gonzaga was ranked 12th in the final USA TODAY/ESPN poll of the 1999 season, Gonzaga's best ranking in school history.
REASON DOUBLES UP: Senior forward Anthony Reason recorded the first double-double of his Bulldog career when he scored 10 points to equal a career high and grabbed 10 rebounds to match a season high in Saturday's win at Monmouth University. Reason scored all 10 of his points in the first half, including 8 of Gonzaga's first 14, and grabbed 7 of his boards in the opening half to help Gonzaga take control early. He had scored 10 points three times previously in his career, and missed his career rebounding best by one set last year in Spokane against Monmouth.
VIOLETTE FIGHTING THE FLU: Sophomore center Cory Violette continues to fight the flu. He became ill Christmas Eve, did not practice last Wednesday prior to Gonzaga University's departure east and was confined to his hotel room until shoot around last Saturday prior to the Monmouth University game. He started but played just 14 minutes against the Hawks, scoring 5 points and grabbing 4 rebounds.
50 OR BUST: Monmouth University became the first team in four outings to score 50 or more points against Gonzaga University. The University of Washington (47), Washington State University (44) and Eastern Oregon University (45) had failed to crack the 50-point barrier in the Bulldogs' previous three games.
TIME CHANGE REMINDER: Gonzaga University's West Coast Conference game in The Kennel on Jan. 13 against the University of San Diego has been changed to a 1 p.m. start. The game time was switched to allow San Diego to make airplane connections home that night. Most schedules reflect a 3 p.m. tip off.
POUNDING THE BOARDS: Gonzaga University continues to pound the boards, holding a 53-33 edge against Monmouth University last Saturday. The Bulldogs now have a +14.2 rebounding margin, most assuredly still atop the NCAA rankings. The University of Kentucky was second in last week's rankings at +12.9. Gonzaga has grabbed 50 or more rebounds in three of its last four outings - 50 at the University of Washington, 51 at home against Eastern Oregon University and 53 against the Hawks. Gonzaga has out rebounded 11 of 13 opponents this season, 10 of them by double digits. Only Marquette University (31-26) and Washington State University (39-36) have held the advantage on the boards against this Bulldogs this season. Cory Violette's career-high 20 rebounds against Fresno State University is tied for the fourth highest single-game total this season in NCAA Division I ranks.
VISIT TO GROUND ZERO: It hasn't been all business for Gonzaga University on its two-game sojourn to the East Coast. The Bulldogs visited Ground Zero on Friday. "Since we are close we wanted to give our players and staff a chance to visit Ground Zero and reflect on this terrible tragedy and make us appreciate how truly lucky we are to live in this country," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "Some of our players may never get another opportunity to visit this part of the country. We are in the business of education, and visiting Ground Zero will definitely be an educational, as well as personally touching experience for all of us. Not a day goes by that we aren't reminded somehow of how September 11 impacted each and every one of us."
ELITE COMPANY: Gonzaga University is one of just three schools to advance to the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Michigan State University and Duke University are the other two. Duke and MSU appeared in their fourth straight Sweet Sixteen in 2001. Since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there have been 18 occasions where teams have had runs of three years or more into the Sweet Sixteen. The University of North Carolina leads the way with a 9-year stretch from 1985-93, followed by Duke with a 7-year run from 1986-92.
BULLDOGS AND THE KENNEL: The Kennel - home of Gonzaga University's Bulldogs - has gained the reputation as one of the toughest courts in the country. In the last 10 seasons the Bulldogs are 121-9 at home for a nifty 93.1 winning percentage. The Bulldogs went 12-0 at home in 2001, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. The Bulldogs are 38-1 in The Kennel over the past four seasons with this year's 6-0 start. The 2000 squad was 10-1, and the 1999 Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel, winning by an average of 31.9 ppg. The Bulldogs also posted undefeated home campaigns in 1993 (13-0) and 1994 (14-0), and suffered just one home setback in 1996 and 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the country's second-longest active streak. Gonzaga currently has a 19-game home winning streak dating back to the last home game of the 1999-00 campaign, the current streak ranking eighth. Michigan State University heads the current list with 53 straight victories at the Breslin Student Events Center.
WINNINBG STREAK: Gonzaga University takes an 8-game winning streak into Monday's contest at Saint Joseph's University. The Bulldogs strung together a school-record 14-game streak last season.
BIG MONDAY AT "THE PIT": Gonzaga University will be a part of the first ESPN "Big Monday" telecast of the season when the Bulldogs visit The Pit at the University of New Mexico on Jan. 7 for a 9 p.m. PST contest. The Bulldogs lost to the Lobos 81-80 in overtime last season at the Spokane Arena in the inaugural meeting between the schools. That game featured a 30-minute delay after Gonzaga's Casey Calvary shattered a backboard. The Bulldogs lost to Purdue University 75-66 in a 2000 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 matchup in Albuquerque, NM.
DICKAU ON WOODEN AWARD BALLOT: Point Guard Dan Dickau is the third straight Gonzaga University representative on the John R. Wood Award Midseason Top 30 candidates for the 2001-02 Wooden Award All-America Team announced Dec. 28. Casey Calvary, a Wooden All-America pick last season, and Matt Santangelo in 2000 were the previous Bulldogs on the list. Dickau was on The Wooden Award Top 50 announced this past summer. On March 26, 2002, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Sunday, April 7, 2002, as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year."
FEW'S TWO-YEAR RUN: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few probably never thought life as a head coach would be so "sweet." But in his first two seasons as head coach the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, one of only two NCAA Division I head coaches to accomplish that feat since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Gonzaga, defending national champion Duke University and 2000 national champion Michigan State University are the only three schools to reach the Sweet Sixteen each of the past three seasons. Few was an assistant coach on Gonzaga's run to the 1999 Elite Eight. Few's 2-year record of 52-16 places him among elite company for second-year head coaches. His 2-year total of 52 wins has him tied for third for second-year coaches with Dan Monson, his predecessor at Gonzaga, and Ben Carnevale of the University of North Carolina (1945-46).
BULLDOGS HIT 20 WINS AGAIN: With a 26-7 record last season, Gonzaga University hit the 20-win plateau for the 8th time in the last 10 seasons, matching the 2000 win total and second all-time behind only the 1999 school record mark of 28-7. Last season marked the fifth time the Bulldogs have hit the magic 20-win plateau in the regular season. The 1994 squad took a 20-6 record into the West Coast Conference Tournament, the 1998 team was 21-8 entering the tourney, the 1999 Bulldogs went 22-6 in the regular season and the 2000 squad was 21-8 heading into the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga's first 20-win season as a NCAA Division I program came in 1992 with a 20-10 mark, falling to Pepperdine University 73-70 in the Bulldogs' first appearance in the WCC Tournament title game.
O-FER FROM THREE: The last time Gonzaga University took the collar from 3-point range was in an 0-for-5 night in The Kennel against the University of Portland on Jan. 27, 1993, a 71-53 Gonzaga victory. Gonzaga has made a 3-point field goal in 278 straight games. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.
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