Massachusetts 57

(2-2, 0-1 away)

Gonzaga 68

(5-1, 5-0 home)

    4:00 PM ET, December 4, 2004

    KeyArena, Seattle, Washington

    1 2 T
    UMASS 20 3757
    GONZ 33 3568

    Top Performers

    Massachusetts: M. Maxwell 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Gonzaga: A. Morrison 20 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast

    Gonzaga 68, Massachusetts 57

    SEATTLE (AP) -- It sounds strange, but Ronny Turiaf and the Gonzaga Bulldogs were happy about the beating they took from Illinois one week ago.

    Why? Because it taught the Zags how to punch back.

    Adam Morrison scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half and Turiaf scored 19 points and tied a career high with 14 rebounds, leading Gonzaga to a 68-57 win over Massachusetts on Saturday.

    The Bulldogs (5-1) responded after last weekend's embarrassing 89-72 loss to No. 5 Illinois. This week, Gonzaga beat No. 14 Washington 99-87 and held off UMass (2-2), among the preseason favorites in the Atlantic 10.

    "It feels good to get your face slapped by a really good team," Turiaf said when asked if the Illinois game served as a wake-up call.

    "You just have to relax and realize it's time to go back to practice and keep working even harder. We just opened our eyes and realized we were far from where we want to be," he said.

    Gonzaga dominated the first half, when the Minutemen committed 14 of their 19 turnovers. It was another story after that.

    Down 33-20 at the break, UMass focused defensively and rallied to tie it at 40 with 10:50 remaining. That's when the Zags buckled down, too, and outscored the Minutemen 23-4 over an 8-minute span of the final 9½ minutes.

    "It was good for us to win an ugly -- kind of a grinder -- kind of game," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "Not all of them are going to be a home run. You're not always going to play perfectly. It's important to find a way to dig it out."

    Maurice Maxwell led UMass with 19 points. Anthony Anderson scored 14.

    The Bulldogs rolled through the first half, but everything changed when the Minutemen tightened their defense in the second half and charged back behind Maxwell's shooting.

    "We were anxious," coach Steve Lappas said. "It was our first road game of the year, and it's against Gonzaga. Our kids were excited, no doubt. Maybe a little too excited, but then we settled down."

    Maxwell and Rashaun Freeman each had six points in a 15-3 run, and Maxwell hit a 3-pointer that pulled UMass to 40-38 with 12 minutes remaining. It was anybody's game one minute later when Stephane Lasme tied it at 40 with two free throws.

    "I'm proud of how we competed," Lappas said. "They're a physical team, and I think we did as good a job against their guys as anyone else has. Obviously, we didn't do enough. We turned the ball over way too much."

    Turiaf, blanketed by double-teams all day long, scored nine of Gonzaga's next 12 points. He made the Minutemen pay for their aggressiveness by hitting 11-of-16 free throws. As a team, UMass shot 7-for-12 at the line.

    "I was about to get some easy buckets because my teammates were looking for me," Turiaf said. "They did a really good job of finding me, even though I was doubled most of the time."

    The Zags trailed 47-45 with 8:50 remaining after Lawrence Carrier's 3-pointer, yet the UMass comeback never felt like a knockout.

    "We didn't give them the sense that they were going to lose after we took the lead," Maxwell said. "We didn't stick it to them. They responded and came right back and scored."

    Morrison answered with a 3-pointer for Gonzaga, igniting a 13-2 run that swung the lead to the Bulldogs for good.

    "We just had to keep shooting," Morrison said. "Eventually, they started to fall for us at the end."

    The Minutemen couldn't keep up down the stretch, especially after Freeman fouled out with 3:42 to play and Lasme followed him with 2:31 to go. The final minutes played right into Gonzaga's hands.

    "We got our break going," Few said. "We were able to get the ball thrown ahead instead of grinding it. We're better when we play up-tempo."

    For the second straight year, the Bulldogs made the cross-state trip to play a regular-season game in Seattle and perform for fans on the west side of the Cascade Range.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 57 68
    FG Made-Attempted 21-49 (.429) 22-56 (.393)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-25 (.320) 5-12 (.417)
    FT Made-Attempted 7-12 (.583) 19-25 (.760)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 3 13

    2004-05 Season

    » Dec 4, 2004 @GONZ 68, UMASS 57Recap