March 20, 2014 in Sports

GU has lopsided edge in series with OSU

Here’s a look back at Zags’ five victories
By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Zags Robert Sacre (00) and Manny Arop (10) reject a shot by Oklahoma State’s Matt Pilgrim in Dec. 31, 2010 game at GU.
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They’ve played at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, KeyArena in Seattle, The Milk House in Orlando, McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane and Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

Gonzaga and Oklahoma State have squared off five times in five arenas in five cities, but the outcome has always been the same. GU is 5-0 against the Cowboys in the last decade, three of the outcomes decided in the closing seconds.

The series resumes Friday when the teams clash at Viejas Arena in San Diego in the NCAA tournament. Here’s a look at the first five meetings.

Dec. 28, 2004

Gonzaga 78, OSU 75

The 12th-ranked Zags led by as many as 16 in the second half before hanging on for a narrow victory over No. 3 Oklahoma State at the Ford Center. Ten days before, GU knocked off another No. 3, Georgia Tech, in Las Vegas.

“That’s as impressive a regular-season effort as we’ve ever had,” coach Mark Few said.

Junior forward J.P. Batista made 8 of 9 shots and scored a career-high 18 points, helping fill the void with Ronny Turiaf limited to 18 minutes by a sprained ankle. Adam Morrison had 19 points. Sean Mallon and Erroll Knight each had 11.

Derek Raivio finished with 10 assists.

Few called it a “pick your hero” effort.

Oklahoma State, led by Stephen Graham’s 22 points and John Lucas’ 19, pulled even at 73. The Zags went back in front 78-75. Lucas missed a desperation, last-second 3-pointer.

Dec. 10, 2005

Gonzaga 64, OSU 62

It has become one of the more memorable shots in Gonzaga history: Morrison banking in a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to settle the Battle in Seattle. Morrison’s game-winner capped GU’s comeback from a 10-point halftime deficit.

“I’ve shot that shot many a time,” he said. “Not that I bank it every time, but I had the angle. I wasn’t surprised.”

Few wasn’t convinced that Morrison intended to bank the shot.

“Was it lucky? Yeah, but you know what? That kid makes shots,” Few said. “That’s what he does – and he does it better than anybody in the country.”

Morrison, who scored 25 points, hit a big 3 with 2:42 remaining that trimmed OSU’s lead to 60-59. Batista added 17 points and nine rebounds. Mario Boggan led the Cowboys with 19 points.

GU made just 18 field goals, but was 25 of 31 at the free-throw line to OSU’s 6-of-7.

Nov. 27, 2008

Gonzaga 83, OSU 71

Reserve forward Ira Brown had a steal, rebound and six points during a second-half run that sparked No. 9 Gonzaga to a win in the quarterfinals of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. GU went on to claim the championship.

“In order to win we had to get stops,” Brown said, “and that’s what I knew was my job – to spark the guys on defense.”

Micah Downs had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Jeremy Pargo added 15 points and seven assists. Obi Muonelo paced OSU with 16 points.

“We were really great at times and we were really bad at times,” Cowboys first-year coach Travis Ford said. “They showed their experience and they showed why they’re a Top 10 team.”

Dec. 31, 2010

Gonzaga 73, OSU 52

The Zags rolled behind Elias Harris’ 22 points and Robert Sacre’s 16 points and 15 rebounds at McCarthey Athletic Center. David Stockton banked in a 40-foot shot just before the horn to bump Gonzaga’s lead to 40-26 at half.

“I really started the last two games trying to score and get as many rebounds as I can,” said Harris, who battled injuries during his sophomore season. “Just try to be the old Elias again.”

Steven Gray, playing with a tender back, added 10 points and six assists. Wing Manny Arop came off the bench to contribute seven points and 10 boards.

“We faced adversity early (during a three-game losing streak) but that made us strong,” Arop said.

Oklahoma State’s Marshall Moses scored a team-high 17 points. Keiton Page, averaging 15.8 points, was limited to two.

Dec. 31, 2012

Gonzaga 69, OSU 68

Gary Bell Jr. was sidelined for 7½ minutes of the second half with a knee injury. When he returned he promptly missed three shots and Few considered making a substitution.

Few stuck with Bell and the sophomore guard rewarded his coach’s patience by knocking down a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left that lifted No. 10 Gonzaga past the 22nd-ranked Cowboys in Stillwater.

“I was able to get my feet set,” said Bell, who was just 3 of 11 from the field. “And Coach ‘D’ (Donny Daniels) was telling me earlier that when I set my feet, it’s money.”

With Kelly Olynyk in foul trouble, Kevin Pangos delivered 18 points as Gonzaga led 32-31 at half. Olynyk had 21 points and nine rebounds in the second half.

Pangos drove the right side of the lane and tossed a cross-court pass to Bell, who used Mike Hart’s screen to find open space. Bell connected and the Zags led 67-65. Pangos made two free throws with 4.3 seconds to seal the victory.

Cowboys guard Marcus Smart scored 23 points but missed two free throws with 8.7 seconds left.


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