San Diego 70

(18-14, 6-8 WCC)

Gonzaga 88

(22-10, 11-3 WCC)

    9:30 PM ET, March 4, 2007

    Chiles Center, Portland, Oregon

    1 2 T
    USD 26 4470
    GONZ 40 4888

    Top Performers

    San Diego: G. Pomare 10 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Gonzaga: D. Pendergraft 22 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Gonzaga shoots down San Diego in WCC semifinals

    Associated Press

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- As David Pendergraft walked to the locker room following Gonzaga's latest win, he was congratulated by a Bulldog booster.

    "One more, man, that's all we need and we're in," Pendergraft said. "One more."

    Pendergraft had 22 points and Gonzaga got one step away from an automatic NCAA Tournament berth with an 88-70 victory over San Diego in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament Sunday night.

    Top-seeded Gonzaga (22-10) will face second-seeded Santa Clara in the final on Monday.

    The Bulldogs, who finished the regular season one game ahead of Santa Clara in the WCC, had a bye until the semifinals at the University of Portland's Chiles Center. Fifth-seeded San Diego (18-13) defeated San Francisco 77-75 on Saturday to advance.

    Derek Raivio, whose father was a standout at Portland, had 14 points for Gonzaga, while Micah Downs added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

    Ross DeRogatis, San Diego's senior point guard, had 17 points in the loss. When he left the game in the final minutes, he hugged his coaches and was cheered by fans.

    With a difficult non-conference schedule, the Zags dropped from the Top 25 this season for the first time in several years. Then came the Feb. 9 arrest of forward Josh Heytvelt, who was averaging 15 points and seven rebounds per game.

    Heytvelt, charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, has been suspended indefinitely.

    Shortly thereafter, Gonzaga lost to Santa Clara, ending the nation's longest home winning streak at 50 games.

    "We're scratching and clawing and flying around and undermanned. But these guys have done a phenomenal, phenomenal job. Just phenomenal," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.

    The Zags had no trouble against the Toreros.

    Brandon Johnson hit a pair of free throws to tie it at 19 for San Diego. That's when the Zags took over, going on a 10-0 run. Pendergraft's layup off Raivio's perfectly placed pass, and Raivio's own layup, capped the run that gave Gonzaga a 29-19 lead.

    "They made that run where they went up 29-19 and they never went away. We had a hard time cracking into their lead," San Diego coach Brad Holland said.

    Bulldog fans who packed the Chiles Center cheered loudest in the first half for 7-foot-4 freshman Will Foster, who had played only briefly in nine games this season. Foster sparked the defense with his surprising athleticism in just five minutes of play.

    "Will can change shots and I thought he did a nice of rebounding the ball," Few said. "You always tell guys that you never know when you're going to get your chance. He was ready and he made the most of it."

    Gonzaga led 40-26 at halftime.

    Pendergraft hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second half to give the Zags a 64-46 lead. But San Diego answered with a 7-0 run that narrowed it to 64-53. It was as close as they would come in the second half.

    "We just continued to take bad shots, which fed right into how they play, DeRogatis said.

    The Bulldogs have won seven of the last eight WCC tournaments, with the streak interrupted only by San Diego in 2003.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 70 88
    FG Made-Attempted 18-56 (.321) 30-63 (.476)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-22 (.364) 6-21 (.286)
    FT Made-Attempted 26-29 (.897) 22-36 (.611)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 22

    2006-07 Season

    Jan 30, 2007 @GONZ 91, USD 82Recap
    Feb 26, 2007 GONZ 74, @USD 64Recap
    » Mar 4, 2007 @GONZ 88, USD 70Recap