Gonzaga has a pair of goals tonight. One, win a West Coast Conference basketball game against visiting San Francisco. Two, continue raising money to help win the fight against cancer.
The 10th-ranked Bulldogs (18-2, 5-0 WCC) take on the Dons (9-11, 2-5) at 5 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. San Francisco has won two straight conference games. Cole Dickerson’s last-second 3-pointer gave USF a 75-72 victory over Portland on Thursday and lifted the Dons out of the WCC basement.
Gonzaga, which shot 56.9 percent in an 83-63 win over BYU on Thursday, faces another defense that will attempt to push GU’s offense out of its comfort zone.
“You’ll see a team that traps the first pass, the first dribble, traps the ball screen, anything to get you out of rhythm offensively,” said coach Mark Few, whose team dealt with a similar strategy from BYU, but was slowed at times by 19 turnovers. “You have to be strong with the ball, make plays and play with some poise.”
USF made 53 percent from the field, 43 percent of its 3-pointers and 94 percent of its free throws against Portland. Dickerson averages a double-double (14.9 points, 10 rebounds). Veteran point guard Cody Doolin averages 12.3 points and 5.8 assists, fourth in the WCC. De’End Parker, a 6-foot-6 guard, chips in 12.3 points and has made 48 percent of his 3-pointers.
Tonight’s game is part of Coaches vs. Cancer week in the region. “Believe” T-shirts will be on sale at the game and at several area outlets ( www.cvctee.com for more details).
“It means everything to Marcy and myself, just the support we’ve had over the years from Spokane, the media. Here I am congratulating you guys. When’s the last time I slapped you guys on the back? That’s how much it means me to right there,” Few joked. “It’s been a huge blessing in my life and the players’ lives. Hopefully, more and more awareness will happen (today) and save a couple a lives because of it.”
Harris moves up
Senior forward Elias Harris, who had 25 points and 10 rebounds against BYU, continues to climb Gonzaga’s career lists. He moved past Jeff Brown into eighth in scoring with 1,656 career points. Blake Stepp is No. 7 with 1,670. Harris moved past Ronny Turiaf into fourth place with 860 career rebounds. Turiaf finished with 859.