(25) Gonzaga 54

(6-1, 1-1 away)

Washington St 52

(3-3, 2-1 home)

    9:00 PM ET, December 7, 2004

    Friel Court, Pullman, Washington

    1 2 T
    #25GONZ 25 2954
    WSU 27 2552

    Top Performers

    Gonzaga: R. Turiaf 17 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Washington St: R. Green 12 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Stl

    Gonzaga has won six straight against Washington State

    PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Gonzaga was held 29 points below its season average, threw the ball away more than usual and shot just 41 percent from the field.

    But the Bulldogs (Not ranked ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) still held on for a 54-52 win over Washington State in a game that wasn't decided until the Cougars missed three shots in the closing seconds.

    Ronny Turiaf scored 17 points and Adam Morrison added 12 as Gonzaga (6-1) survived Washington State coach Dick Bennett's trademark withering defense for its third straight win since losing to No. 1 Illinois in late November.

    Morrison wasn't surprised by the intensity of the Cougars (3-3) and a crowd of 8,151 that was the largest at Washington State for a non-conference game in nine years.

    "We're marked on the West Coast, especially the Northwest," Morrison said. "That's everywhere we go."

    Turiaf was double and sometimes triple teamed throughout the game, and had to leave for five minutes early in the second half with a twisted ankle. But he scored when Gonzaga needed him to, although he finished below his season average of 24 points per game.

    "We played hard for 40 minutes," Turiaf said. "We had to do every little thing that can help us."

    The Bulldogs made just 17-of-41 shots, 41 percent, in their lowest offensive output of the season. The 68 they scored in a win over Massachusetts Saturday had been their low, and they came in averaging 83 points per game. They committed 17 turnovers to 9 for Washington State.

    Washington State, which has scored just 29 and 37 points its past two games, continued to have trouble on offense. The Cougars made just 19-of-58 for 32 percent.

    But freshman Josh Akognon kept the Cougars in the game with three 3-pointers in the final 11 minutes. His long 3-point attempt in the closing seconds that would have given WSU the lead bounced off the front of the rim.

    "I'll beat myself up tonight," Akognon, who had 12 points to share the scoring lead with Randy Green, said. "I'll keep going over that same play wondering what I could have done different."

    Bennett had called a timeout with 11 seconds left, and said Akognon was the intended shooter on the play.

    "He pulled it a little soon from quite a distance," Bennett said. "But I've seen him make that shot in practice."

    The Cougars launched a couple of wild shots from inside in the scramble after Akognon's shot, but time expired.

    Bennett bemoaned his team's lack of shooting ability, and said the Cougars have little choice but to concentrate on defense to stay in games. They lost 81-29 to No. 5 Oklahoma State on Saturday.

    "If we don't play defense we can't compete," Bennett said.

    Gonzaga took a 53-50 lead after Sean Mallon made one of two free throws with 2:05 left. Robbie Cowgill's turnaround jumper cut the margin to 53-52 with 26 seconds left, and Washington State was forced to foul.

    Morrison hit one of two free throws with 11.8 seconds left before Akognon's long 3-point attempt missed.

    Washington State led 27-25 at the half.

    Gonzaga guard Nathan Doudney suffered what appeared to be a torn ACL when he was knocked into the Bulldog bench and may be out for the season, Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 54 52
    FG Made-Attempted 17-42 (.405) 19-58 (.328)
    3P Made-Attempted 3-11 (.273) 7-24 (.292)
    FT Made-Attempted 17-26 (.654) 7-9 (.778)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 25 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 10

    2004-05 Season

    » Dec 7, 2004 GONZ 54, @WSU 52Recap