9:00 PM ET, December 8, 2005
McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, Washington
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- With its starting point guard out with an injury, a tough loss to cross-state rival Washington in the immediate past, and the rugged defense of Washington State slowing down their high-scoring offense, the stage was set for an upset of Gonzaga (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP).Instead, the Bulldogs (5-2) got 25 points from Adam Morrison and 23 from J.P. Batista, and played some rugged defense of their own in beating the Cougars 67-53 on Thursday night.
"That was a great win for us," coach Mark Few said, noting his team held Washington State to 37 percent shooting while hitting 54 percent itself.
Point guard Derek Raivio sat out the game after injuring his back against Washington. He may not be ready for Saturday's game against Oklahoma State, Few said.
But freshman guard Jeremy Pargo had four assists and five rebounds in 29 minutes.
"As long as I keep it simple and get it to the guys who can score, I feel good," Pargo said.
Morrison, who leads the nation with an average of 29 points per game, was 8-of-16 from the field. He scored 43 points against Washington, the second time he reached that figure this season.
"I thought we were respectable against Morrison," Washington State coach Dick Bennett said.
But Batista was dominant inside, going 9-of-11 with nine rebounds and four assists.
"I never played against anyone so strong," Washington State forward Chris Henry said of Batista.
Gonzaga also got 12 points from forward Sean Mallon, and seven from guard Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes. Only the four players scored for the Zags in the game.
Few was not distressed at having so few players score, noting WSU's team is built around defensive stops.
"The bottom line is getting it done," he said.
Washington State (4-2) lost for the seventh straight time to Gonzaga. Robbie Cowgill led the Cougars with 14 points, while Josh Akognon had 13. Leading scorer Derrick Low was held to three points and second leading scorer Ivory Nelson did not score.
"We have not shown the improvement I expected," Bennett said.
However, the Bulldogs were held 18 points below their season average and committed 18 turnovers.
The Zags have won 28 straight home games, the second longest streak in the nation. They have won 40 of their past 41 non-conference home games, and have yet to lose in the 2-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center in 16 games.
The Cougars fell to 5-107 all-time against teams ranked in the Top Ten.
Gonzaga led the entire game, although Washington State stayed about 10 points down for much of the contest.
The Cougars made a rally late in the second half, after Morrison completed a three-point play for a 55-43 lead. A basket by Cowgill and a 3 by Akognon brought Washington State within 55-48 with 6:56 left. However, the Cougars didn't score for nearly 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, Mallon made a basket and free throw and Morrison buried a 3-pointer and two free throws for a 63-48 lead.
Gonzaga built a 16-7 lead midway through the first by holding WSU scoreless for nearly 6 minutes.
Randy Green's layup cut Gonzaga's lead to 22-19 with 7:20 left. But Gonzaga held Washington State to two field goals over the final 7 minutes of the first half, outscoring them 14-5 for a 36-24 lead.
The Cougars shot just 35 percent in the half, compared to 57 percent for Gonzaga, and were outrebounded 35-23 in the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||20-53 (.377)||25-46 (.543)|
|3P Made-Attempted||7-21 (.333)||3-10 (.300)|
|FT Made-Attempted||6-9 (.667)||14-16 (.875)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||11 (0/0)|
|» Dec 8, 2005||@GONZ 67, WSU 53||Recap|