Portland 79

(13-9, 2-5 WCC)

(17) Gonzaga 91

(15-4, 5-2 WCC)

    11:00 PM ET, January 29, 2005

    McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, Washington

    1 2 T
    PORT 41 3879
    #17GONZ 47 4491

    Top Performers

    Portland: D. Wilson 17 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast

    Gonzaga: J. Batista 25 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Batista shoulders load with double-double

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Portland was the last West Coast Conference team to beat Gonzaga at home.

    And on Saturday night, the Pilots had the Bulldogs scrambling again.

    But J.P. Batista posted career highs with 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Gonzaga (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today; No. 17 AP) survived a second-half rally by pesky Portland to post a 91-79 victory.

    Gonzaga (15-4, 5-2 West Coast Conference) made 34 of 39 free throws and outrebounded the Pilots 42-22.

    "It was a pretty much even game the whole time," Batista said.

    Except the Pilots had no answer for the 6-foot-9, 269-pound Brazilian, who made 8-of-11 field goals and all eight of his free throws.

    "That dude is huge," Portland's Pooh Jeter said of Batista. "He's a rock."

    Jeter scored 22 points, making 6-of-11 3-pointers, to lead the Pilots (13-9, 2-5). Portland beat Gonzaga 72-68 on Feb. 19, 2003.

    Adam Morrison added 18 points and Ronny Turiaf 16 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocked shots for Gonzaga. Derek Raivio added 15 points and Sean Mallon 10.

    Portland trailed by as many as 14 in the first half before taking the lead several times in the second half. In all, the game was tied 11 times and the lead changed six times.

    "Clearly the difference in the game was their effort on the glass," Portland coach Michael Holton said. "When you are outrebounded by 20 in a game, it's tough to win it."

    Holton said he was pleased with the way his team came back in the second half and stayed alive until the closing minutes.

    Donald Wilson added 17 points for Portland and Ben Sullivan had 12. The Pilots attempted only 12 free throws, making 10. But they made 13-of-29 3-pointers.

    Gonzaga is 32-0 at home when ranked. They have won 20 home games in a row.

    Trailing by six at halftime, Portland scored the first seven points of the second half, with Wilson's two free throws giving the Pilots a 48-47 lead.

    After Batista scored, Portland scored four more points for a 52-49 lead.

    The teams traded the lead, mostly on free throws, repeatedly for the next 11 minutes.

    Batista hit a pair of free throws and Morrison made a layup as Gonzaga built a 76-70 lead with 5:27 left.

    Sullivan hit a 3-pointer, but Batista replied with a layup for a 78-73 Gonzaga lead.

    Jeter hit a pair of 3-pointers to cut Gonzaga's lead to 82-79.

    But Raivio sank two free throws, Portland turned over the ball and Morrison made them pay with a 3-pointer for an 87-79 Gonzaga lead with 1:50 left.

    "We dug out a couple of key stops in a row tonight," said Gonzaga coach Mark Few, who has been critical of his defense after recent games.

    "We're a better team now than we were in November," Few said. "We need to continue to rely on our defense."

    In the first half, Batista scored 11 points as Gonzaga jumped to a 22-14 lead. After Sullivan's 3-pointer for Portland, Gonzaga scored nine straight for a 31-17 lead. Jeremiah Dominquez's 3-pointer at the buzzer narrowed Gonzaga's lead to 47-41 at halftime.

    Portland shot 45 percent in the game. Gonzaga, after shooting 60 percent in the first half, struggled with 37 percent shooting in the second.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 79 91
    FG Made-Attempted 28-61 (.459) 25-52 (.481)
    3P Made-Attempted 13-29 (.448) 7-15 (.467)
    FT Made-Attempted 10-12 (.833) 34-39 (.872)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 13 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 3 14

    2004-05 Season

    » Jan 29, 2005 @GONZ 91, PORT 79Recap
    Feb 24, 2005 GONZ 84, @PORT 68Recap