Sunday , Feb , 15 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Gonzaga clinches WCC with 14th-straight win

=== Gonzaga clinches WCC with 14th-straight win ===

Moraga, CA (Sports Network) – Adam Morrison netted 22 points to lead seventh-
ranked Gonzaga over St. Mary’s (CA), 79-60, in a West Coast Conference clash
at McKeon Pavilion.

Morrison was 10-of-15 from the field as Gonzaga (21-2, 11-0 WCC) clinched the
conference title by tying the program’s all-time record with its 14th
consecutive win.

“It feels great to win it this early and to be undefeated,” guard Blake Stepp
said. “No matter what happens now, this is our league.”

Stepp added 16 points and six assists for the Bulldogs, who have three games
standing between them and a perfect conference record. The last West Coast
Conference team to run the table was Pepperdine in 1992.

The only two losses for the Bulldogs this season have come against the
nation’s lone unbeaten teams — Stanford and Saint Joseph’s.

Paul Marigney and Daniel Kickert each had 12 points to lead the Gaels
(15-10, 6-4), while E.J. Rowland pitched in with 11 as St. Mary’s lost
for just the second time on its homecourt this season.

Trailing 46-32 early in the second, the Gaels went on an 8-0 run to pull
within six, but Morrison’s three-point play pushed the lead back out to nine
at 55-46 with 12:40 remaining.

St. Mary’s answered with six points in a row to cut the deficit to 55-52
just before the midway point of the second.

The score was 59-55 when the Bulldogs finally awakened, as Morrison’s jumper
ignited a 16-0 run that put the game out of reach. Morrison capped the surge
with another jumper to make it 75-55 with 2:50 to go.

The ‘Zags scored six straight points to assume an 11-5 edge six minutes
into the contest. They held a 22-14 margin after back-to-back field
goals by Morrison, but Rowland’s trey cut the deficit to five with seven
minutes to go in the first half.

Gonzaga then exploded to score 11 of the next 12 points, getting six by Cory
Violette, to take a 33-18 lead three minutes before halftime.

Morrison drained a three-pointer with 14 ticks left to send Gonzaga to the
break with a 40-25 advantage.

The Gaels finished with a paltry 33-percent shooting percentage, going 6-of-24
from three-point land and 20-of-61 overall.