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Morrison scores 33 as Zags win 18th straight in WCC

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- While many in the crowd -- including the
NBA scouts -- focused on Adam Morrison, Gonzaga's J.P. Batista was
unassumingly hitting his shots.

Batista matched a career high with 32 points and added 10
rebounds to help No. 5 Gonzaga win its 12th straight game, 97-83
over Portland on Monday night.

Morrison had 33 points, and Sean Mallon had 12 points and 10
rebounds for the Bulldogs (21-3, 10-0 West Coast Conference) in
their 18th straight league victory.

Morrison, Batista and Mallon, the only Gonzaga players in double
figures, combined for 77 of the team's points.

"That's J.P. all year. He doesn't draw a lot of attention to
himself, but he's been amazingly consistent all year," Gonzaga
coach Mark Few said. "At the end of the night, pick up the stats,
and he's got a double-double."

Batista acknowledged he's not out to grab attention.

"That's kind of how I am ... quietly going in and getting the
job done," he said.

The Bulldogs, who led by as many as 23 points, have a six-game
winning streak against Portland, and they've defeated the Pilots in
Portland 10 straight times.

Pooh Jeter had a season-high 31 points for the Pilots (8-16,
2-8), who have lost six straight overall. Darren Cooper added 23.

The crowd of 4,574 was the ninth largest in Chiles Center
history, and it was clear that many of them had made the drive from
Spokane.

Morrison had 16 points at the half as Gonzaga took a 44-32 lead.
The Pilots led in the opening minutes, but Morrison's 3-pointer put
the Bulldogs ahead 7-6 and they never trailed again.

Morrison, who went into the game as the nation's second-best
scorer behind Duke's J.J. Reddick, hit another 3-pointer early in
the second half that made it 61-38.

He had 42 points, including six 3-pointers, on Jan. 28 in the
Bulldogs' 81-64 home win over Portland.

He scored 12 of his game-high 34 points in the final 3 minutes
Saturday in Gonzaga's 80-76 home nonconference victory against
Stanford.

"I was worried a little bit after the emotional weekend we had
in Spokane," Few said. "I thought we might be emotionally spent
but we came out and showed some energy.

Morrison didn't show any letdown. It was the 10th time he has
scored 30 or more points this season.

"It doesn't matter whether I score 40 or 20, we're just trying
to win games," he said.

The Pilots were playing without sophomore forward Marcus Lewis,
who left the team on Friday after he was suspended indefinitely by
coach Michael Holton. Lewis was averaging 10.9 points and 4.7
rebounds.

Portland narrowed the margin to 12 at 92-80 with 1:11 left on
Donald Wilson's layup, but could not get closer. Morrison and
Batista had already left the game for good.

Afterward, Jeter held some handmade valentines from some young
fans, but he was obviously disappointed the Pilots didn't keep up.

"They showed why they're the No. 5 team in the country," he
said.

Holton said Jeter and Cooper should be proud of how they did
against their ranked opponent.

"We're certainly on the path to bigger and better things,"
Holton said.

Portland has not beaten a ranked opponent since a 68-63 victory
over 19th-ranked Oregon State on Dec. 11, 1981, at Portland's
Memorial Coliseum.

The Bulldogs, who have the nation's longest home winning streak
at 36 games, were last beaten in Spokane by Portland, a 72-68 upset
on Feb. 19, 2003.

Gonzaga's 12-game winning streak matches No. 7 George Washington
for the nation's longest current streak. Third-ranked Memphis,
which plays Southern Mississippi on Tuesday, has won 11 straight.