(12) Gonzaga 84

(22-4, 12-2 WCC)

Portland 68

(15-14, 4-10 WCC)

    11:00 PM ET, February 24, 2005

    Chiles Center, Portland, Oregon

    1 2 T
    #12GONZ 38 4684
    PORT 25 4368

    Top Performers

    Gonzaga: A. Morrison 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

    Portland: D. Cooper 20 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast

    Zags on nine game winning streak

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Adam Morrison is optimistic about March.

    Morrison had 22 points for Gonzaga as the Bulldogs clinched the West Coast Conference title for the fifth straight season with an 84-68 victory over Portland on Thursday night.

    Gonzaga (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today; No. 12 AP) has one more game -- a nonconference contest at home Monday against Northern Colorado -- and then it's on to the WCC tournament. And perhaps beyond.

    "I think the sky is the limit for us," Morrison said. "If we just rebound and play defense. We've got the offensive thing taken care of."

    Ronny Turiaf had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Gonzaga (22-4, 13-2), which has won nine straight. It is the ninth time since 1994 that the Bulldogs have won the regular season conference championship.

    Darren Cooper had 20 points for the Pilots (15-14, 4-10), who have dropped four straight and eight of their last 10 games. It was Portland's regular season finale.

    Cooper played the entire game with a dislocated right shoulder.

    "We really wanted to win this game and have some momentum going into the tournament," Cooper said. "We just let this one slip away from us."

    The WCC tournament starts March 4 in Santa Clara, Calif., with the Bulldogs having a first-round bye as the top seed.

    Although the Bulldogs fell slightly behind in the opening minutes, they easily controlled the game, shooting 50 percent from the floor and leading by as many as 19 points in the second half. The Pilots shot 42.9 percent.

    Turiaf moved ahead of Jeff Brown on the school's career scoring list with 1,655 points. He now has 806 rebounds for his career, making him just the fourth Gonzaga player to reach 800 career rebounds.

    It was Turiaf's 24th career double-double and his 10th this season.

    Turiaf's lay-in made it 70-51 before Morrison hit a pair of free throws with about 5 minutes left for Gonzaga's widest margin.

    Gonzaga sophomore guard Derek Raivio, whose father, Rick, played for Portland and is in the school's Hall of Fame, scored 12 points.

    "It wasn't a big game just for me. It was a big game for the rest of the team," Raivio said. "We had the league pretty much clinched and we didn't want to share it with anyone."

    Gonzaga trailed by as many as four points in the first half. Down 19-18 after Portland's Andreas Gahlmann hit a jumper, Erroll Knight's 3-pointer sparked a 16-0 run that put the Bulldogs up 34-19.

    "The run that Gonzaga had in the first half was a big part of the separation, and we just never recovered from that," Cooper said.

    Morrison already had 14 of his points at the half, and Gonzaga was ahead 38-25 before a sellout crowd at Chiles Center that included a large turnout of Bulldog fans.

    "We missed some easy ones right at the rim, which was the difference for them in the first half," Portland coach Michael Holton said.

    Portland's Pooh Jeter, who has scored in double figures in 22 of 29 games this season, had 13 points.

    Portland was without reserve center Dreshawn Vance, who was hurt last Thursday in the Pilots' 58-56 loss to San Francisco.

    Earlier this season, the Bulldogs beat the Pilots 91-79 at home in Spokane, Wash.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 84 68
    FG Made-Attempted 26-52 (.500) 27-63 (.429)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-15 (.333) 4-16 (.250)
    FT Made-Attempted 27-34 (.794) 10-13 (.769)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 23 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 21 4

    2004-05 Season

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