SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Adam Morrison listened to what was said in
Gonzaga's locker room at halftime. Then went out and did it.
Morrison scored the first six points of the second half and Gonzaga (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today; No. 17 AP) wiped out a 12-point deficit on the way to a 68-63
victory over Saint Mary's on Thursday night.
The Gaels' 38-26 halftime lead didn't last and neither did the
way both teams were shooting. Gonzaga held Saint Mary's to two
field goals over the final 12 minutes and avenged an earlier loss
to the Gaels.
"Don't hang your heads," Morrison recounted when asked what
was said at halftime. "We're playing pretty good 'D.' We need to
rebound and play smarter."
Morrison and point guard Derek Raivio each scored 19 points for
the Bulldogs (16-4, 6-2 West Coast Conference), who were 15-for-25
from the field in the second half while holding the Gaels to
7-for-29 shooting over the final 20 minutes.
"We had to prove to them they were not going to beat us at
home," Morrison said.
Saint Mary's (19-6, 6-2) was trying to become the first WCC team
to beat Gonzaga twice in a season since San Diego in 1997.
"I hope we understand that defense is the key to having a great
year," said Ronny Turiaf, who had 14 points and nine rebounds for
Paul Marigney, who scored 30 points in Saint Mary's 89-81 win
over Gonzaga on Jan. 8, picked up his fourth foul early in the
second half and finished with 10 points before fouling out.
"I think we got up a bit and felt comfortable and relaxed a
bit," Marigney said. "And we didn't make shots down the
E.J. Rowland, who led Saint Mary's with 18 points, said he knew
it was only a matter of time for the Zags to make a run in the
"Morrison made a couple of baskets and got them going,"
Rowland said. "We had some lapses."
"It came down to we let them get back in it too easy," Saint
Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "We didn't do a good job of
handling their press."
Saint Mary's led most of the game until a late 12-3 run by the
Bulldogs gave them a 65-59 lead they did not relinquish.
Sean Mallon's putback and free throw for Gonzaga tied the game
at 56 with 6:01 left. Gonzaga stole the ball on the next play and
Turiaf's layup gave the Bulldogs their first lead.
Jason Walberg's 3-pointer gave Saint Mary's the lead, but
Turiaf's layup put Gonzaga ahead 60-59. Raivio and Morrison
followed with consecutive layups and Raivio added a free throw for
a 65-59 lead with 2:28 left.
Saint Mary's win early last month was the Bulldogs' first league
loss in more than a year. It was the Gaels' first win over Gonzaga
after 17 straight losses.
The loss knocked Gonzaga out of first place in the WCC for the
first time since 2001. Two weeks later Gonzaga also lost at San
Gonzaga is 33-0 at home when ranked and the Bulldogs have won 21
straight home games.
Raivio tied a school record by hitting his 41st consecutive free
throw, but his streak ended in the closing seconds.