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Posts tagged: BYU

Gonzaga beats BYU for WCC crown

As junior guard Gary Bell Jr. put it afterward, “No more bubble talk.”

Gonzaga secured the WCC Tournament title with a 75-64 victory over BYU on Tuesday, earning its 16th straight NCAA Tournament berth. Sam Dower, with 20 points and 13 boards, was named MVP. David Stockton had seven assists, five rebounds, four points and three steals to join Dower, BYU's Tyler Haws and Kyle Collinsworth and USF's Cole Dickerson on the All-Tournament team.

My unedited game story is below. Check back tomorrow for my day-after post.

Day after BYU

Gonzaga demonstrated Thursday how thin its margin for error is compared to last year’s squad.

The Bulldogs didn’t play poorly. They didn’t play great. And somewhere in the middle, against a talented opponent feeding off 19,136 fans, wasn’t good enough.

BYU defeated GU 73-65 last night in a game where the stats were fairly similar for both teams. The biggest differences: rebounding (BYU 41-32, 10 second-chance points in the second half) and turnovers (GU’s 16 led to 18 Cougars’ points).

Here’s my game story, and articles in Utah papers here and here.

More below in my day after post.

Bulldogs fall to BYU

Gonzaga had a chance to clinch an outright WCC championship, but the Bulldogs got behind early and spent nearly all of the 40 minutes trying to catch up against BYU.

The Cougars held off Gonzaga 73-65, handing the Zags (23-5, 13-2) just their second WCC loss. BYU improved to 19-10, 11-5.

My unedited game story is below. Check back tomorrow for my day-after post.


GU, BYU tangle at Marriott Center

Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of alarm clocks that sound in the 3-a.m. hour but we've arrived in sunny Salt Lake City for late night with the Zags and Cougars. Here's a GU-BYU glance and a short preview that ran in today's S-R. In-game updates on twitter @SRjimm.

Articles from Utah here, here and here reflect the game's importance to BYU and the Cougars' desire to shut down Gonzaga's 3-point opportunities. That's roughly the same strategy Memphis and numerous others have attempted against the Bulldogs.

It sounds like the 2013-14 WCC schedule that wasn't well received by member schools will be more balanced next season, commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said. Nobody likes playing conference games when students are on the holiday break, but they're unavoidable. In fact, with the addition of Pacific boosting membership to 10, the league schedule went from 16 games to 18 and in certain seasons the WCC will stage conference games prior to Christmas. 

More below on the scheduling and Gonzaga coach Mark Few's thoughts on the keys to tonight's game..


Day after BYU

Gonzaga stretched its home-court winning streak to 22 games as the guard trio of Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr. and David Stockton combined for 52 points and 17 assists in an 84-69 victory over BYU on Saturday.

Here’s my game story, John Blanchette's column and Dan Pelle's photos can be found here. Game stories from A.P., and more from Utah here and here.

 Read on for my day-after post.


Guards carry Zags past BYU

Gonzaga's guard line, particularly David Stockton, Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr., carried the Bulldogs to an 84-69 win over BYU on Saturday.

Those three combined for 52 points, 17 assists and 10 rebounds. The Bulldogs shot 57.4 percent, 64.3 percent in the second half when they put up 49 points.

My unedited game story is below. Check back tomorrow for my day-after post.


Zags, Cougars clash at Kennel

It's been a short, but interesting series between Gonzaga and BYU. The Jimmer-led Cougars bounced GU out of the NCAA Tournament a few years ago. Within months, the Cougars were members of the WCC but they haven't had much luck against the Zags. losing four straight after a 10-point win in Provo in 2012.

The teams collide again tonight and the game probably won't be confused with the GU-USD, possession-by-possession battle on Thursday. BYU is a high-scoring outfit, loaded with quality guards and wings. Gonzaga isn't shy about scoring, but it has been more defensive driven in WCC play. Tip is at 7.

Here's my game preview, and others from Utah here and here.

In-game updates on twitter @SRjimm.

GU women cruise into WCC championship game

Gonzaga's women took control with a 12-2 run late in the first half to build an 11-point lead and the Bulldogs went on to a comfortable 62-43 victory over fourth-seeded BYU in the WCC Tournament semfinals on Saturday at the Orleans Arena.

Shelby Cheslek led GU with 16 points. Kiara Kudron added a season-high eight points, six in Gonzaga's decisive run at the close the first half. The top-seeded Bulldogs will face No. 2 San Diego, which routed No. 3 Saint Mary's, for the championship at 1 Monday.

Taelor Karr, the WCC player of the year, landed hard on her lower back after being fouled by a Cougar player with 7 minutes left in the first half. Karr returned to the game several minutes later and also played in the second half, but she was taken for further medical evaluation following the game.

My unedited game story is below.

Gonzaga's men are about 15 minutes from starting. In-game updates at

Day after BYU

Gonzaga has played better – much better – but even without its ‘A’ game (B-minus perhaps?), it still had enough to defeat BYU 70-65 on Thursday.

Hopping on another flight, so we'll get right to it. Here are the links: S-R game story, Salt Lake Tribune here and here, and AP.

Read on for my day-after post.

Gonzaga hangs on, defeats BYU

Read on for my unedited game story from GU's 70-65 win over BYU on Thursday.

And check back tomorrow for a day-after BYU post and a feature on GU's three seniors as they prepare for their final home game against Portland on Saturday.

GU holds off BYU

By Jim Meehan, (208) 765-7131

PROVO, Utah – The Gonzaga Bulldogs stated their case for the No. 1 ranking in college basketball by doing what they’ve done for most of the season.

The Bulldogs defended, took care of the ball and repeatedly came up with clutch baskets. Kelly Olynyk had another solid game. GU’s deep bench contributed 18 points.

Gonzaga needed all of the above to overcome a sluggish night offensively and the second-ranked Bulldogs held off BYU 70-65 Thursday at a raucous Marriott Center.

And the Bulldogs got help elsewhere.

Earlier in the week, No. 1 Indiana lost to Minnesota. Shortly before Gonzaga tipped off against BYU, Virginia’s upset of No. 3 Duke went final, clearing a path for GU to the top spot with a win over the Cougars and another against Portland on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (28-2, 15-0 WCC) got the first part of the job done, holding off a late BYU charge to clinch an outright WCC championship. GU never trailed and led 54-43 with 10:50 remaining, but the Cougars pulled even at 60 with three straight 3-pointers – two by Brock Zylstra and Craig Cusick’s 3 just before the shot-clock expired – and a pair of Brandon Davies free throws.

Elias Harris powered inside for a basket to give Gonzaga a 63-60 lead, but Davies connected on a putback with 2:49 left.

It remained that way as BYU missed four field-goal attempts and GU had a turnover, an errant 3-pointer and a missed free throw. Finally, Olynyk made a 10-footer in the lane and Gonzaga had a 65-62 lead with 43 seconds remaining.

BYU (20-10, 9-6) misfired twice and Mike Hart grabbed a defensive rebound in traffic. Kevin Pangos made two free throws and GU’s lead was 67-62. Cusick made three free throws and Harris hit 1 of 2 foul shots to keep GU in front 68-65 with 6.6 seconds left.

Gonzaga elected to foul before BYU could attempt a tying 3-pointer. Cusick missed the first free throw and Harris made two free throws to seal Gonzaga’s 11thconsecutive win.

Olynyk finished with 19 points and Gary Bell Jr.  hit four 3s and scored 15 points. GU made a season-low 41.5 percent of its shots. Tyler Haws scored 19 points to lead BYU, which made only 36.5 percent from the field.

Zags make No. 1 pitch

The door to the No. 1 ranking is open and second-ranked Gonzaga can state its case with a victory over BYU on Thursday in Provo

No. 1 Indiana lost to Minnesota on Tuesday, which leaves a couple of viable contenders for the top spot: Gonzaga, No. 3 Duke and possibly No. 5 Miami, which tangles with Duke on Saturday. No. 4 Michigan became the latest top 10 team to endure an upset loss, falling to Penn State on Wednesday.

It's possible there could be two different top-ranked teams when the AP and USA Today polls are released Monday. The guess here is if GU and Duke have 2-0 weeks, AP will vote Duke No.1 while the coaches go with Gonzaga.

We address the No. 1 ranking and potential No. 1 seeding in the preview and also have a few notebook items below.

Day after BYU

Back with my day-after BYU post following Gonzaga's 83-63 win over the Cougars at the MAC last night. These two programs are used to winning, but they can't seem to play a close game against each other. GU has won three straight, by 11, 19 and 20. BYU won the two before that, by 22 and 10.

Gonzaga was sharp at both ends of the floor, save for 19 turnovers, to keep its WCC record unblemished at 5-0.

The lnks: Game stories from The S-R, A.P. Tacoma News Tribune, Salt Lake Tribune (sidebar here),Daily Herald and Deseret News. S-R photo gallery here.

By the way, GU president Thayne McCulloh's halftime announcement centered on a proposed four-story university center.

One other item: Several sources say that the WCC has re-upped with the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas as the site of the conference's men's and women's tournaments. It's a multi-year deal — my guess is three years, as it was in the previous contract that was set to expire after the 2013 event in March. The WCC explored a few other options — KeyArena in Seattle was one — but the tournaments have been a hit at the Orleans since arriving in 2009.

 Read on.


GU handles BYU to remain in first

It was a one-two punch offensively with Kelly Olynyk (26 points) and Elias Harris (25).

It was a one-two-three-four-five punch on defense as Gonzaga held BYU to 63 points, 15 under its season average, and 35.6-percent shooting. The Bulldogs' Gary Bell Jr. (on BYU's Tyler Haws, who had 1 point, 20 below his average) and Elias Harris (on Brandon Davies, who had 14 points, 4 under his average) were outstanding defensively, and they had a lot of help from their teammates.  

The Bulldogs rolled to an 83-63 victory Thursday at the MAC to remain unbeaten in WCC play at 5-0. Saint Mary's is in second place at 5-1. BYU dropped to 5-2.

My unedited game story is below. I'll be back with a day-after post in the a.m.

Big picture gallery of GU’s win against BYU

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the GU vs. BYU home game.  Check out this large-format gallery of his photos.

A quiz before the test

Great, a visit from my old adversary back pain and then I wake up and I have to take a quiz? Man, I thought I was past these things.

The first one is a true pain. The second one, John Blanchette's Gonzaga trivia quiz, is truly hard, but fun. I scored 7 out of 18 — I really wanted to get at least half correct — but the pre-1990s questions buried me. (Yes, I gave myself a half point if I got one of the two required answers). Here are the answers, for AFTER you take the exam! Hint: That guy pictured above is one of the correct answers.

It was open book, er, open media guide, right?

Also, as part of National Gonzaga Day and the school's celebration of 125 years, there was this nugget in a news release: GU President Thayne McCulloh will deliver some good news about Gonzaga’s future during a special halftime program broadcast live over the Internet from the Gonzaga-BYU men’s basketball game.

Moving on. Anyway, here's my GU-BYU preview and a note on Drew Barham, Salt Lake Tribune advance and the re-emergence of point guard Matt Carlino, a Daily Herald preview and a Deseret News preview. I'll be tweeting live in-game updates tonight at



Zags entertain BYU

Gonzaga returns to WCC play and tries to put the tough loss to Butler in the rear-view mirror when it entertains BYU on Thursday night.

Here's my game preview that will run in Thursday's S-R.

There's a bit more on the game and a note on Drew Barham below that run on the S-R Four Corners page tomorrow.

It’s finally here


FROM PULLMAN -- Yes, game day finally here. And unlike most days, I will actually be awake when this post publishes, en route to the Spokane airport, then en route to Provo. First, we have a prediction for you, as well as a number of links, including content from our football preview section as well as our standard game advance information. Read  on.

Links on a Thursday


FROM PULLMAN — This is why we toil through the winter months out here — it's mid-May, and I'm writing this in the middle of the night with the screen door open and a nice breeze blowing through the apartment. Ahh, summer weather in spring. Read on for some more reading material.

WSU’s opener against BYU moved to Thursday


FROM PULLMAN — The Mike Leach era at Washington State will begin two days earlier than originally planned. Read on for more.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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