Archive for Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Gonzaga survives Santa Clara

March 9, 2004


— Until the final two minutes, Ronny Turiaf and Blake Stepp had been flustered by Santa Clara's physical defense, and they missed 15 of 18 shots.

Then Gonzaga's top two scorers converted when it counted.

Turiaf put back two of his own misses in the final minute, including the game-winner with five seconds left, in the fourth-ranked Bulldogs' 19th straight victory, 63-62, over Santa Clara in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament early Monday morning.

"I had a pathetic first half," Turiaf said, laughing while he read his 3-for-13 shooting line on the stat sheet. "I did a good job sticking with the program and knew that at some point I'd make a play to put my team in position to win."

Doron Perkins' scintillating shooting and the Broncos' inside banging knocked Gonzaga (26-2) off its game.

Santa Clara (16-16) built an 11-point lead early in the second half and were poised for the upset before the Bulldogs came through at the end.

"We did not play our 'A' game," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "These are the types of games we see teams across the country losing. We haven't had one of these in a while. To dig it out is important, especially this time of year. You need to win these types of games in March."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.