March 7, 2010 in Sports

No stopping Gonzaga

Zags reach 13th consecutive WCC championship game
By The Spokesman-Review
 

LAS VEGAS – Welcome to

March basketball.

High-pressure games, physical,

grinding, hard fouls, floor burns.

Hard-fought wins, season-alter

ing losses.

Top-seeded Gonzaga marched

on Sunday night, setting the tone

early and then quelling a Loyola

Marymount comeback to claim a

77-62 victory in the West Coast

Conference Tournament semi

finals at the Orleans Arena in front

of 7,941, the vast majority support

ing the Zags.

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The 18th-ranked Bulldogs

(26-5) will face second-seeded

Saint Mary’s, a 69-55 winner over

No. 3 Portland, for the title tonight

at 6. GU has played in 13 straight

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tournament title games.

“We knew we were facing a

team that was very confident and

hot,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few

said. “They took it to us down

there two weeks ago and they’ve

played well since then. It’s kind of

basketball in March. It’s probably

not going to be real pretty, but I

thought we were very effective.”

Nobody embodied that more

than Gonzaga junior guard Steven

Gray. He came in still feeling the

effects of a bug that kept him on

the sideline for the second half of

Tuesday’s win over Cal State-Ba

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kersfield. He got off to a

blistering start, but then

fell for a Drew Viney

pump-fake and took a hard

spill on his right side in

front of Gonzaga’s bench.

Few initially thought

Gray might have broken his

elbow. Less than two min

utes later, Gray’s elbow was

taped and he was asking to

return to the game. Two

possessions later, he got

knocked down on a drive

and made both free throws.

More pain was in store.

Trying to help defend on a

lob pass, Gray swiped at the

ball, but missed and hit the

backboard, scraping and

bloodying a couple of the

fingernails on his right

(shooting) hand.

“That lasted a lot longer

than the elbow,” Gray said.

“Burning and throbbing.

The elbow (pain) kind of

faded away.”

Gray’s 14 points and four

assists staked Gonzaga to a

41-25 halftime lead.

LMU (18-15) didn’t go

away. Playing their third

game in three days, the

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Lions closed within six

twice, but Robert Sacre

made a pair of free throws

and Bol Kong connected on

a 3-pointer to hike Gonza

ga’s lead to 66-55.

Matt Bouldin, one of sev

eral Zags in early foul trou

ble, scored six of his 12

points in the final five min

utes to help the Bulldogs

pull away. After misfiring

at the free-throw line for

most of the second half,

Gonzaga made seven

straight while rebuilding

its lead.

“They really got after

us,” Lions coach Max Good

said. “Like the good team

they are, they came back

and responded.”

Elias Harris scored 12 of

his 16 points in the second

half. Gray finished with 18

points, seven assists and six

rebounds. Gonzaga shot 52

percent from the field

while holding LMU to 36.7

percent. Gonzaga had 15 as

sists. The Lions had four.

Manny Arop appeared to

hurt his foot near the 14-

minute mark of the second

half. Few said the freshman

wing might miss tonight’s

game. He was scheduled

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for X-rays, but “it didn’t

look good,” Few said.

Few tied Hank Anderson

for first place on the Gon

zaga list with 290 career

coaching wins.

Gonzaga 77, LMU 62

FG FT Reb

LMU (18-15) Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Hamilton 22 3-9 4-6 2-4 0 3 10

Viney 36 6-14 2-2 2-8 0 4 15

Young 29 5-11 2-2 2-3 1 5 12

DeBois 31 4-9 0-0 2-3 1 5 9

Teel 38 3-8 8-10 3-4 2 3 14

Kalipinde 11 0-2 0-0 2-3 0 1 0

Osborne 6 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 3 0

Diederich 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0

Davis 21 1-7 0-0 1-2 0 1 2

Totals 200 22-60 16-20 14-32 4 27 62

Percentages: FG .367. FT .800. 3-Point Goals:

2-13, .154 (DuBois 1-2, Viney 1-4, Kalipinde 0-1,

Teel 0-1, Young 0-2, Davis 0-3) Team Re

bounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 3 (Hamilton 2, Vi

ney). Turnovers: 12 (Hamilton 2, Teel 3, DuBois

2, Young 3, Kalipinde, Osborne) Steals: 9 (Viney

4, Teel, DuBois 2, Young, Davis). Technical

Fouls: None.

FG FT Reb

Gonzaga (26-5) Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Harris 32 4-4 6-8 1-3 0 2 16

Sacre 17 3-6 2-3 0-1 0 5 8

Goodson 37 2-7 4-5 1-4 4 1 8

Bouldin 29 4-9 4-6 2-5 3 3 12

Gray 31 6-10 5-10 1-6 7 4 18

Arop 22 2-4 0-0 3-8 0 2 4

Vilarino 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Olynyk 1 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 0 0

Hart 1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Kong 24 3-7 2-2 1-1 1 1 9

Foster 5 1-1 0-2 0-1 0 1 2

Totals 200 25-48 23-36 9-37 15 19 77

Percentages: FG .521. FT .639. 3-Point Goals:

4-9, .444 (Harris 2-2, Gray 1-2, Kong 1-4, Arop

0-1) Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 3

(Sacre 2, Olynyk). Turnovers: 14 (Harris, Sacre,

Bouldin 5, Gray, Goodson 3, Fsoter, Olynyk 2)

Steals: 3 (Sacre, Gray 2). Technical Fouls:

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None. Halftime– Gonzaga 41-25. A–7,941.


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