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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 13, 2007

Gonzaga - 80
Idaho - 43

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - For half the game, Idaho looked like an interesting opponent for No. 14 Gonzaga.

But Gonzaga (2-0) played what coach Mark Few called its best defense in his tenure in the second half, holding the Vandals to 13 points on the way to an 80-43 victory on Tuesday.

"I've been here 19 years," Few said. "That's the best we've ever had."

After trailing just 36-30 at halftime, the Vandals were just 5-for-24 in the second half and committed 11 turnovers. That seemed to undo them, as they were only 2-for-13 from the foul line in the second half. Idaho was 4-for-18 on the game.

"We can't collapse like that," said Brandon Brown, who led Idaho with 12 points and 7 rebounds. "We've got to stay together to win games."

The Zags put on an incredible defensive display in the second half. They held the Vandals (1-1) to just seven points in the first 15 minutes, including a 12-minute span in which they gave up just two points.

The Vandals had used aggressive defense to stay close in the first, and paid for it later as three players fouled out and another had four fouls.

"We told ourselves before the game we were going to be the aggressors," coach George Pfeifer said. "We ran out of bodies."

Freshman Austin Daye had another steller showing for Gonzaga, leading all scorers with 18 points, 15 in the second half. He also had six of Gonzaga's 10 blocks.

Jeremy Pargo added 14 points for the Zags, while Matt Bouldin had 12 and Abdullahi Kuso had 10. The Zags shot 56 percent, and outrebounded the Vandals 48-29.

The Zags also suffered 18 turnovers and committed 20 fouls, to Idaho's 29, in a sloppy game.

Still, Idaho trailed only 36-30 at halftime, and Jordan Brooks scored all five points as the Vandals pulled to within 38-35 early in the second.

Gonzaga then went on a 10-0 run, keyed by six points by Daye, for a 48-35 lead.

After Idaho's Trevor Morris scored with 13:42 left, the Vandals only basket in the 12-minute stretch, the Zags went on a 21-0 run to lead 69-37 with 5:19 left. Morris finished with 10 points.

Few was critical of his team's "casual" approach in the first half.

"We're not very good when we play 'cool,"' Few said.

Larry Gurganious, who had 7 rebounds and 3 steals in the game, kept the Zags close in the first half with his defense, Few said.

Forward Darin Nagle, who scored 17 points in the season opener for Idaho, fouled out with no points and no rebounds midway through the second half.

In the first, David Pendergraft scored seven straight points as Gonzaga opened with a 9-0 lead. But Idaho battled back and Mike Kale's short jumper tied the score at 13.

Idaho scored six straight points for a 24-20 lead. But the Vandals managed only one basket over the next 7 minutes, while Gonzaga's Pargo scored 9 points during a 14-2 run for a 34-26 lead.

Gonzaga is 41-1 at the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.

Idaho leads the series 70-63, but the Zags have won eight straight since their last loss in 1998.

Idaho opened the season with a 110-52 win over Cascade. The Vandals have only four returning players from a team that went 4-27, and have seven new players. It doesn't get any easier for the Vandals, who play No. 9 Washington State on Friday.

Saint Mary's - 94
Cal State Bakersfield - 66

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) - Omar Samhan scored 15 of his career-high 25 points in the first half, leading Saint Mary's to a 94-66 victory over Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night and its first 3-0 start in 12 years.

Samhan, a 6-foot-11 sophomore center who worked hard in the offseason to get in better shape, shot 11-for-15, also grabbed six rebounds and blocked four shots for the Gaels.

Ian O'Leary had 19 points and scored seven straight early in the second half as the game turned into a rout and Tron Smith had 11 points for Saint Mary's, which last started 3-0 during the 1995-96 season but managed only nine more victories the rest of the way.

The Gaels used a balanced offensive attack, taking a 20-point lead on Carlin Hughes' two free throws with 11:26 to play. Patty Mills and Hughes, two of four Australians playing for Saint Mary's, combined for 10 assists, with Mills getting six and also making five steals. Todd Golden dished out five assists to go with nine points.

Seventh-year coach Randy Bennett, who last month received a two-year contract extension that could keep him at the school through 2013, has one of his deepest rosters yet during his tenure.

Picked to finish second in the West Coast Conference behind No. 14 Gonzaga, this was the Gaels' final tuneup before playing 11th-ranked Oregon next Tuesday night in a sold-out game on their home floor at McKeon Pavilion - a matchup certain to generate the same kind of excitement and energy from the fans as any rivalry game with the Zags.

Ducks coach Ernie Kent coached at Saint Mary's from 1991-97.

Terrence Johns scored 19 points and Cory Brown had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Roadrunners (0-2), who are playing their first full season in Division I after making the transition from Division II.

Saint Mary's missed its first six 3-pointers but still shot 49 percent in the first half for a 47-32 lead at the break, getting Golden's 3 moments before the buzzer sounded.

The Gaels have won four of the five meetings between the schools, with all of those victories coming in Moraga. Saint Mary's won 65-57 last year.

Saint Mary's will return to action on Tuesday, November 20 against the No. 11 ranked Oregon Ducks. The game will play played at SMC's McKeon Pavilion and will tip-off at 7:05 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Santa Clara - 82
Simpson - 55

REDDING, Calif. - Santa Clara University scored the first 17 points of the game on the way to an 82-55 win over Simpson University on Tuesday night at Shasta College. Santa Clara's junior center John Bryant scored a career high 29 points and added nine rebounds in the victory for the Broncos.

The game was a homecoming for Bronco senior Brody Angley, who played his high school basketball for Enterprise High School in Redding. He scored 10 points in his return to his hometown. At halftime, his former high school announced that the school's annual holiday tournament will now be named the Jamie Angley Holiday Tournament, in honor of Angley's father, who died last year.

SCU had a balanced attack with senior Mitch Henke and freshman Ben Dowdell contributing nine points in the game, while Jonathan Gunderson netted eight points. Freshmen Michael Santos and Dominic Johnson scored their first career points for the Broncos and finished with six and two points respectively.

Simpson, a NAIA school, was led by Alex Nixon with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Ian McBride, who hit four 3-pointers in the second half on his way to 16 points for the game.

The Broncos led by as many 29 in the game following a lay-up by Angley at the 8:00 minute mark of the second half.

Santa Clara led 41-23 at halftime with Bryant scoring the 18 in the first half for SCU. The Broncos are now 2-0 on the season.