Gonzaga Bids East Coast Farewell After St. Joseph's

Dec. 31, 2001

AP MegaSports Writer

Gonzaga will finish its East Coast "respect" tour with a visit to St. Joseph's on Monday.

The 22nd-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) had little trouble on their first stop, thumping Monmouth, N.J., 79-54 on Friday.

"The trip was meant to give more media people and people on the East Coast a chance to see us, but I'd like to think after the last three years people are pretty educated about us," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.

The trip is Gonzaga's first voyage to this side of the country since a 1993 tournament in Buffalo. A lot has happened for the Bulldogs since then as they have won the West Coast Conference championship three of the last four seasons and have reached the NCAA tournament's round of 16 the last three years, a feat matched only by Duke and Michigan State.

"I don't think the East Coast gives enough recognition, although they do give a little," Gonzaga's Winston Brooks said. "It's all Big East and ACC, and the Pac-10, let alone the West Coast Conference, doesn't get the recognition they deserve."

Gonzaga had no problem with Monmouth as Dan Dickau led the Bulldogs with 20 points and seven assists, while Anthony Reason had 10 points and 10 rebounds, the first double-double of the senior forward's career.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-3 lead over the first eight minutes and never looked back.

"We knew it was important to start well - always is," Reason said. "I was able to get to the offensive glass early and that made a difference."

Gonzaga hopes for the same success in Philadelphia against St. Joseph's (6-3). The Hawks have dropped their last two games, including a 92-76 loss to North Carolina on Dec. 22. The losing streak follows a stretch of six straight wins by St. Joseph's.

The Hawks were without leading scorer Marvin O'Conner, who was sidelined with an injured toe on his left foot.

"We played before without Marvin so that was not really an overwhelming concern," stated St. Joe's head coach Phil Martelli, who picked up one of three Hawk technical fouls on the night. "I thought Delonte (West) would step up. He played a little nervous early, turned the ball over, and then it kind of snowballed. Then we lost Bill Phillips and we kind of struggled."

O'Conner, who averages 19.8 points per game, should play on Monday in the first meeting between the schools.



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