12:30 AM ET, December 19, 2004
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The Gonzaga Bulldogs showed they belonged on the floor with a top-5 team. That wasn't the case earlier in this young season.Adam Morrison scored 24 points to lift Gonzaga (No. 22 AP) to an 85-73 victory Saturday night over No. 3 Georgia Tech in the Las Vegas Showdown.Derek Raivio tied a career high with 21 points on 11-of-18 shooting for Gonzaga (8-1), which earned its biggest victory since beating No. 3 Missouri on Dec. 13, 2003.During Thanksgiving weekend, Gonzaga faced No. 1 Illinois and was beaten by 17 points in the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis. But the Bulldogs have turned things around in a hurry."We looked like a JV team against Illinois," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "So our approach for this game was different. I'm proud of how we came out and played tough. You have to play tough against the great teams and that is what we did."Will Bynum scored a career-high 28 points, going 9-of-16 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. But it wasn't enough for the Yellow Jackets (7-1), who lost for the first time since falling to Connecticut in last season's NCAA Tournament championship game.Gonzaga led 45-41 at halftime and then held Georgia Tech scoreless for the first 4:46 of the second half. The Bulldogs built their biggest lead to 15 points twice, the last at 68-53 with 10:28 left.The Yellow Jackets got to 75-70 with 3:28 left, but Gonzaga pulled away late."We didn't attack their zone well," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "Defensively, we didn't play as well as we are capable of. They had too many chances to drive down the middle of the floor."Ronny Turiaf had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga, and Sean Mallon added 11 points.B.J. Elder scored 16 points, and Jarrett Jack added 15 for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets' reserves outscored Gonzaga's 30-4.Georgia Tech wasn't helped by the late start time. The tip was after midnight ET, the time zone the Yellow Jackets are used to and traveled from."In all fairness to them, this was a hard game," Few said. "It was a 12:30 a.m. start and they had to come across the country."Gonzaga led 14-8 before Georgia Tech went on a 22-9 run to build their largest lead of the game, 30-23 with 8:41 left in the first half. Gonzaga responded with a 9-0 run.The Bulldogs made 16 of 30 shots in the first half.