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Fast start helps Gonzaga past USD

Back with the expanded game story from Gonzaga’s 82-65 victory over San Diego on Saturday. Read on for the unedited version and check back tomorrow for a day-after post.

Bulldogs defeat San Diego 82-65

Gonzaga scored the first 19 points and led by 24 midway through the first half, but San Diego made the Bulldogs work the rest of the way.

The Bulldogs saw their lead dwindle to 10 in the first half and 12 in the second before Gonzaga finished off an 82-65 victory Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Steven Gray scored 19 points, Matt Bouldin 16 and Manny Arop 13 for the 16th-ranked Bulldogs (21-4, 9-1). Gonzaga leads Saint Mary’s and Portland by two games in the loss column. The Gaels (21-5, 8-3) lost to Portland (16-8, 7-3) in overtime.

Brandon Johnson led USD (9-18, 2-9) with 21 points and eight rebounds.

Back with a game story in about 90 minutes.

Johnson’s status for GU game uncertain

I talked with San Diego coach Billy Grier for a few minutes about an hour ago. The former GU assistant said senior guard Brandon Johnson’s status for Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs won’t be known until tomorrow. Johnson (groin injury) didn’t play in Thursday’s loss to Portland.

Read on for a short preview of the contest that will run in Saturday’s S-R.

Zags pull away, 68-50

Back with the game story from Gonzaga’s 68-50 win over San Diego. Read on for the unedited version that will appear in Sunday’s S-R.

And check back tomorrow for a day-after post.

Gonzaga goes to 3-0 in WCC

In workmanlike fashion, Gonzaga defeated San Diego 68-50 on Saturday at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

The Bulldogs, who led by nine at half, stretched it to 15 early in the second before the Toreros pulled within seven. GU (14-3, 3-0 WCC) steadily pulled away and led by double digits for the last 8 minutes.

Elias Harris scored 20 points and Steven Gray added 17. Harris left the game for two minutes after taking a hard fall while pursuing an offensive rebound. He returned at the 3:45 mark and scored on GU’s next two possessions.

Demetri Goodson scored 12 points and had a team-high five assists. Rob Sacre had six points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and three assists.

De’Jon Jackson led USD with 14 points and Brandon Johnson had 13, but he made just 3 of 15 shots.

The Bulldogs made 53.2 percent fo their shots. USD shot 34.5 percent.

Check back for my game story in about two hours.

Bulldogs lead by nine at break

Gonzaga ran off 11 unanswered points late in the first half to take a 33-24 lead at half against San Diego.

The Bulldogs trailed 18-17, not coincidentally after allowing USD two offensive rebounds that led to De’Jon Jackson’s basket with 7:30 left. That was USD’s seventh offensive board to that point, but the Bulldogs kept the Bulldogs off the glass and scoreboard until Roberto Mafra’s putback with 1:30 left. By then, Gonzaga had taken a 10-point lead.

Elias Harris (11 points) and Demetri Goodson (10) fueled the Zags’ offense. The two also combined for five of Gonzaga’s nine assists.GU made 13 of 23 shots (56.5 percent), including 3 of 4 3-pointers. The Bulldogs were highly efficient when they weren’t committing turnovers — seven in the half.

Jackson led USD with eight points. The Toreros made just 11 of 30 shots (36.7 percent).

(Strange to see the Jenny Craig Pavilion with so many empty seats, but it’s probably twice as full compared to the 2,553 that watched San Diego lose to Portland on Thursday. The students don’t return to classes until Jan. 25th).

Back with an update at the final buzzer.

San Diego Will Not Be Part Of 2009 Hydroplane Schedule

The Unlimited Hydroplane 2009 season will not include a stop in San Diego, California as race organizers have been unable to secure funding to continue to event. Unlimited Hydroplanes have raced on Mission Bay for over 40 years.

Gonzaga holds off San Diego in title game

Back with the game story from Gonzaga’s hard-fought 66-55 victory over San Diego in the WCC women’s tournament championship game. The unedited version is below.


Bulldogs back in the NCAA Tourney

Gonzaga put five players in double figures, including reserve forward Kelly Bowen’s 15 points and a double-double by conference player of the year Courtney Vandersloot, to outlast sixth-seeded San Diego 66-55 and win the WCC Tournament championship Monday.

The Bulldogs added the tournament title to their regular-season crown. They’ll be making their second trip to the NCAA Tournament in three years.

Heather Bowman scored a team-high 16 points, Janelle Bekkering 14, Vivian Frieson 11 and Vandersloot 10. Vandersloot also had 10 assists.

More later.

Zags lead 32-28 at half

The Gonzaga women shot just 38 percent, but the Bulldogs used a 7-0 run in the closing minutes to take a 32-28 halftime lead over San Diego in the WCC Tournament championship on Monday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Courtney Vandersloot and Heather Bowman each had eight points and backup forward Kelly Bowen added seven points and four boards. Five of Bowen’s points came in the 7-0 run.

San Diego was led by Kiva Herman’s 11 points. The sixth-seeded Toreros made 41.4 percent from the floor.

More later.

Zags wrap up unbeaten WCC campaign

Gonzaga joined some select company — including the 2004 and 2006 Zags — as it put the finishing touches on an unblemished WCC season with a 58-47 win over San Diego at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Saturday. Only three others (Pepperdine in 1982 and 1992, and Loyola Marymount in 1988) have gone unbeaten in conference since the current eight-team alignment in 1981)

The 17th-ranked Bulldogs (23-5, 14-0 WCC) led by as many as 15 in the second half, then turned back a Toreros rally sparked by former Mt. Spokane and CCS guard Matt Dorr’s three 3-pointers. USD closed within seven on Dorr’s last 3, but GU pulled away with Matt Bouldin’s 3-pointer with 2:40 left hiking the lead to 55-43.

Bouldin led Gonzaga with 15 points. Jeremy Pargo had 12, Josh Heytvelt and Micah Downs 11 each.

San Diego (15-15, 6-8) will be the fifth seed in next week’s WCC Tournament.

More in about 2 hours.


Zags up 8 at half

Gonzaga scored 16 of the last 19 points to take a 26-18 lead over San Diego at halftime.

Josh Heytvelt hit his first three shots in the first 2:45 to give Gonzaga an 8-3 lead. The first non-Heytvelt field goal came with 7:49 left in the half when Jeremy Pargo scored on a dunk. The Zags were 0 for 8 from the field (minus Heytvelt’s 3 of 3) until Pargo’s dunk. Pargo made another steal and layup seconds later to even the score at 15.

Matt Bouldin scored the next five points and a couple of Pargo buckets in the final two minutes helped Gonzaga to the 8-point lead at half. San Diego scored one field goal in the last 10 minutes. Like GU, San Diego’s main scoring threat was its post, Gyno Pomare, who made 4 of 7 shots and scored eight points, but he also picked up two fouls. Outside of Pomare, USD is 4 of 18 from the floor.

Heytvelt went to the bench with his second foul with 6:56 left. 

More after the game.


Gonzaga goes for perfect WCC mark

Gonzaga has one more obstacle — San Diego, coached by ex-Zag assistant Bill Grier — in its quest for a 14-0 WCC record. Game time is 4:30 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Read an unedited game preview below.


Bulldogs shut down San Diego, 64-47

After some technical difficulties, I’m back with the game story from GU’s 64-47 win over San Diego. Check back Sunday morning for a day-after post.

Read on.

Zags unbeaten at WCC midpoint

Austin Daye had 17 points, Josh Heytvelt 13 and Jeremy Pargo 10 as Gonzaga defeated San Diego 64-47 on Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The Zags (16-4, 7-0 WCC) won their eighth straight and reached the halfway point of the conference season unbeaten. San Diego (12-10, 4-3) lost its third straight. Danny Brown (11 points) was the lone Torero to reach double figures. 

Back with the game story in about 90 minutes.


Game day for Zags, Toreros

More from ex-Zag assistant Bill Grier and some notes and quotes as Gonzaga and Grier’s San Diego Toreros await a 3 p.m. tip at the MAC. (The picture above is of Mark Few and Grier just before the start of last year’s game in Spokane).

Grier, Toreros take on GU

Bill Grier spent 16 years as a Gonzaga assistant coach and he helped recruit many of the current Gonzaga Bulldogs before moving on to San Diego two years ago. In his first trip back last year, USD fell behind 15-0 en route to losing 80-70 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Grier is back for round two Saturday, but this time he’s not battling his emotions or fielding endless questions about his return to Spokane.

More below in my unedited GU-USD advance.