Tuesday , Dec , 05 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Red-hot Bulldogs take on Cougars in Pacific Northwest

Pullman, WA (Sports Network) – Fresh off yet another thrilling victory, the
18th-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs will take their game on the road to face the
Washington State Cougars in non-league action.

On Saturday, Gonzaga improved to 7-1 with an 87-77 triumph over a strong
Texas squad. The win was the third straight for the Bulldogs, who proved
their tremendous ability by knocking off North Carolina a few weeks ago.
Tonight’s game marks the first true road tilt for the Zags, as they have
played four at home and five on neutral courts.

Washington State opened the season with seven consecutive victories, but the
run came to an end on Saturday with a 69-55 loss to Utah on the road. The 55
points scored marked a season low for the Cougars, who would certainly send a
clear warning to the Pac-10 Conference if they can knock off Gonzaga.

Washington State does own a commanding 95-45 lead in the all-time series
with Gonzaga, but the Bulldogs posted a 67-53 decision over the Cougars in
last season’s meeting.

Gonzaga shot an even 50 percent from the floor in both the first and second
halves of Saturday’s win over Texas. The Bulldogs limited the Longhorns to 41
percent shooting and nailed 12 three-pointers in the clash, including seven by
Derek Raivio. The standout guard finished with 27 points, and fellow backcourt
performer Jeremy Pargo added 18 points. As for Josh Heytvelt, he posted 13
points and 12 rebounds. Raivio pushed his team-leading scoring average to 19.8
ppg, and he is shooting 46.7 percent from three-point range. Heytvelt has been
far better than anyone could have expected, as he is posting 16.8 ppg while
pulling down 8.0 rpg. Pargo adds 10.8 ppg to the lineup for the Zags, who are
racking up 81.4 ppg while limiting opponents to 63.8 ppg on 36.6 percent
shooting from the floor.

Washington State is not an explosive team at the offensive end, as it is
averaging a modest 68.0 ppg. Fortunately, the club has been able to limit its
opponents to 58.4 ppg on 40.6 percent shooting from the floor. Derrick Low is
clearly the top offensive performer for the Cougars, as he is netting 15.5 ppg
on the strength of his 50 percent accuracy from three-point range. The only
other double-digit scorer on the roster is Ivory Clark, as he adds 10.6 ppg
and a team-high 5.6 rpg to the mix. Robbie Cowgill scored a team-high 16
points in the loss to Utah last time out, and Low contributed 15 points. The
Cougars played poorly at the defensive end, as they permitted Utah to shoot
58.1 percent from the field, including 9-of-17 from three-point range.