Gonzaga rallies to beat WSU in rivalry, 74-69

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on December 2, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 4 at 12:19 AM

SPOKANE - Steven Gray shut down the nation's leading scorer in Klay Thompson, while Elias Harris and Matt Bouldin sparked a huge second half rally to lead No. 17 Gonzaga (6-1) to a 74-69 win over Washington State (6-1) at the McCarthey Athletic Center in front of a sold-out crowd of 6,000.

Gray held Thompson to 15 points on 6-21 shooting from the field, well under Thompson's 28 point per game average.  Gray only scored four points as he struggled to a 1-6 shooting night from the field.

Bouldin had a game-high 28 points, including seven three-pointers while Harris scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Gonzaga to a big comeback in the second half after being down by as many as 15 late in the first half.

Both teams started off sloppy, combining for nine turnovers in the first eight minutes of the game as they traded baskets early.

Then the Cougars went on a 19-2 run to open up a 26-12 lead with 8:45 left in the half.  WSU took over the game by dominating on the glass and limiting Gonzaga to just one look offensively on most possessions.

Gonzaga struggled closing out on Wazzu's shooters and keeping DeAngelo Casto of the Cougars off the glass.  Casto finished the half with eight points and seven rebounds.  Xavier Thames also had eight points in the first half off the bench.

The Bulldogs were also hurt when Robert Sacre picked up his second foul with 9:35 left in the half and sat out the next four minutes as the Zags struggled in the paint.

Abe Lodwick gave WSU its biggest lead of the game at 15 points with his three-pointer with just more than two minutes left in the half. The 15 points lead was tied for the largest defecit for GU inside McCarthey Athletic Center. 

Matt Bouldin hit four three-pointers, including two in the final two minutes of the half, to generate most of Gonzaga's first half offense with 14 points and helped the Zags go into the locker room down only 39-27 despite WSU dominating all aspects of the game, including grabbing 11 more rebounds than the Bulldogs (25-14).

The Zags traded baskets for the first part of the second half until Bouldin and Elias Harris carried the Bulldogs to victory with just more than ten minutes to play.

Harris grabbed nine second half rebounds and his spin on the block for a layup capped a 17-3 Gonzaga run to tie the game at 63 with just under four minutes to play.

Harris punctuated his huge second half with a dunk after he slipped a screen and took a great pass from Grant Gibbs to give the Bulldogs their first lead at 65-64 with 3:20 to play. 

Gonzaga never looked back after that .

Kelly Olynk was a big spark off the bench in place of Sacre for Gonzaga.  Olynk finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

The Zags ended up evening the rebounding battle at 31 nd shot 50% from the field for the game after hitting only 36% in the first half. WSU hit 42.6% from the field for the game.

Thames finished with 11 points, while Casto and Reggie Moore had ten each.

For more uncut postgame interviews CLICK HERE.

Gonzaga plays Wake Forest at home at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.  The Cougars travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Kansas State at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

 

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