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Gonzaga Pushes Home Win Streak To 44

Nov. 30, 2006

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Gonzaga was held 13 points below its average, shot just 41 percent and was nearly outrebounded for the first time this season.

Relying on their tenacious defense, the No. 22 Bulldogs beat Portland State 69-51 on Thursday to extend the nation's longest home winning streak to 44.

Josh Heytvelt, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds, said the victory brought only modest satisfaction.

"You are always happy to get a win," Heytvelt said. "But there are always things to work on after a game like this."

"Even in warmups some guys had a dead look in their eyes," he said.

With a game against Texas on Saturday, followed by contests with Washington State, Washington, Duke and Nevada in December, the Zags (7-1) hope to quickly return to the form that allowed them to upset North Carolina earlier this season.

"I don't think we ever felt that comfortable with any facet of that game on either side, offense or defense," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.

"They had our posts frustrated," Few said. "We had no inside attack at all."

Gonzaga shot just 41 percent in the game, but made 9-of-16 3-pointers and 18-of-23 free throws to hold off the Vikings (4-3).

Derek Raivio scored 20 points, 18 in the first half, to lead all scorers. Sean Mallon added 14 for the Zags, many of them in the closing minutes when Gonzaga pulled away.

Gonzaga came in shooting 50 percent, averaging 82 points, and had not scored fewer than 71 points this season.

Portland State was held to 31 percent shooting, and made just 5-of-29 3-pointers.

They lost the rebound battle just 38-36.

"I thought our guys did a good job of defending Heytvelt and their inside game," Portland State coach Ken Bone said.

But the Vikings' poor shooting doomed them, he said.

The Zags improved to 32-0 at the 3-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center. Portland State was the first team Gonzaga beat at the new building in 2004.

Gonzaga's last home loss was Feb. 19, 2003, against Portland.

The Vikings have never defeated a ranked team.

Dupree Lucas led Portland, which came in averaging 77 points per game, with 13 points. Juma Kamara added 12.

Portland State hung around in the first half and trailed 37-29 at the break. The Zags went on a 10-0 run early in the second to build a 47-32 lead.

A basket by the Vikings' Scott Morrison and two straight 3-pointers by Lucas cut Gonzaga's lead to 55-48 with 5:55 left. It was their last field goal for more than 4 minutes.

Matt Bouldin hit two free throws as the Zags' lead increased to 57-48. Layups by Mallon and Jeremy Pargo made it 61-48 with 2:54 left, ending the Vikings' threat. Gonzaga outscored the Vikings 14-3 in the final 4 minutes.