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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Heytvelt off to a fast start as Zags lead at the half

BULLDOGS, 41-37

Mark Few likes to say starting doesn't matter. All that matters is who is on the court at the end of the game.

But ask a basketball player and pretty much all of them will tell you they would rather start.

If performance is any indication, Josh Heytvelt is voting for starting.

Heytvelt is having his best game since mid-December and it may not be any coincidence it is coming in his first start since the Virginia game. And it looks like he might just lead the Zags in scoring for the first time since the WSU game.

If it weren't for him tonight, the Gaels would have run away in this first half. He's 7 for 9 from the field, 2 for 2 beyond the arc and has scored 16 of GU's 41 points.

Otherwise, Pargo is 2 for 6, Raivio 1 for 6, Altidor-Cespedes has yet to take a shot. In other words, the guards aren't having much of a game.

Still GU leads by four, and it's directly related to two factors: The final nine minutes of the half the Zags didn't turn it over (at one point they had seven baskets and eight turnovers) and the defense tightened up, limiting Saint Mary's to 41 percent shooting and coming up with three steals in the final 8 minutes.

Add in a six-rebound edge – against a team that averages five more boards a game than the opposition – and Gonzaga was able to put together a 15-4 run to turn an eight-point deficit into a three-point lead with 3:33 left.

Look for Raivio to get more shots in the second half, as the Gaels to hit the offensive glass harder, opening up GU's break a little more.



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