Back with an expanded game story from Gonzaga's 81-73 victory over Santa Clara on Thursday. The unedited version is below. Check back Friday for a day-after post, as well as a preview of the San Diego game.
By Jim Meehan
Other than that, the Bulldogs were pushed throughout by
No. 17 Gonzaga (22-5, 13-0 West Coast Conference) won its 20th straight regular-season conference game. The Bulldogs, who handed
“It was so different (than last month’s game), but any road game in our conference is going to be a lot different than at our place,” said junior guard Matt Bouldin, who hit 13 of 15 free throws and scored 23 points. “This is a huge win for us. They came out with nothing to lose; they knew all our calls. We were just really efficient down the stretch.”
Senior center Josh Heytvelt was efficient for 40 minutes. He poured in 29 points, breaking the career high of 28 he set in Saturday’s win over Pepperdine.
“It’s these guys, the perimeters,” said Heytvelt, pointing at Bouldin. “I really appreciate when they can find me and they’re doing a great job of getting me easy shots.”
Both teams shot lights' out for the first 30 minutes as Santa Clara took a 53-50 lead. The Bulldogs scored the next six points and a few minutes later added a 9-0 run to pull in front 67-58.
During the latter spurt,
Bouldin hit both foul shots and Heytvelt completed his three-point play with a free throw to give GU a nine-point lead with 4:36 left.
“I had no idea what hit the (court), but it made a loud noise,” Heytvelt said. “Unfortunately it was bad for
The Broncos were within 70-63 with 1:55 left when another object was tossed onto the court, drawing a second technical foul. Bouldin hit both free throws and Jeremy Pargo’s driving layup helped GU to a 75-63 lead.
Gonzaga entered the game No. 1 nationally in field-goal percentage defense (36.8), but the Broncos found plenty of open looks and shot 46.8 percent, the highest percentage allowed by GU this season.
Freshman guard Kevin Foster led
“Foster was great, Rahon was very good and Big John was going to work on us,” Bulldogs head coach Mark Few said. “Our guys ended up making a bunch of plays on offense to win it. Our defense wasn’t very good.”
Heytvelt made 12 of 17 shots, including both of his 3-point attempts. He also had a team-high nine rebounds.
“Josh has been really efficient,” Bouldin said. “We’ve really tried to focus on getting him the ball down there. The way he’s playing, we’re going to keep on doing it.”
GU’s Austin Daye had 12 points and Pargo chipped in 10 points, five assists and no turnovers in 33 minutes.