Gonzaga eyes perfect WCC slate against San Francisco
(Sports Network) - The fifth-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs will attempt to complete a perfect run through the West Coast Conference portion of their schedule as they host the San Francisco Dons in the regular season finale for both teams. San Francisco comes into this clash on a major emotional high, as it recorded a 74-72 overtime decision over the University of Portland on Saturday. The Dons have now rotated wins and losses over their last six outings, and they are tied with Saint Mary's-CA for third place in the conference standings.
As for Gonzaga, it is fresh off Saturday's 75-59 victory over San Diego. The Zags have already clinched their sixth consecutive WCC regular season title, and they are a perfect 12-0 at home. In fact, they have never lost in the two-year history of McCarthey Athletic Center, and they currently own the nation's longest home winning streak at 37 games. Gonzaga posted an 84-75 victory over San Francisco last month, and the Bulldogs hold a 32-20 advantage in the all-time series with the Dons.
Armond Surratt was the hero for San Francisco in the win over Portland on Saturday, as his runner with seven seconds remaining proved to be the difference. He finished with only four points on 2-of-10 shooting from the floor, but the clutch shot overshadowed an otherwise poor performance. Alan Wiggins paced the Dons with 24 points and eight rebounds, while Jerome Gumbs pitched in 15 points. Jason Wallace-Carter rounded out the unit's double-digit scorers with 11 points to go along with 11 rebounds. The Dons turned the ball over 19 times and were outscored 25-13 from the charity stripe, but they were able to limit the Pilots to just 33.9 percent overall shooting.
Overall this season, Surratt is scoring a team-high 14.3 ppg to go along with 134 assists and 46 steals, but his 37.1 percent shooting from the floor could certainly stand some improvement. Wiggins is close behind with 14.2 ppg, and he paces the squad with 8.4 rpg and 56 blocks. Gumbs is contributing 10.4 ppg for the Dons, who are netting 69.4 ppg while surrendering 71.7 ppg.
Gonzaga forward Adam Morrison is considered by many fans and analysts to be the nation's best player, but he was held to a season-low 11 points by San Diego on Saturday. Morrison finished 3-of-11 from the floor in 38 minutes of action, but he got plenty of help from his teammates. J.P. Batista was particularly impressive, as he racked up 26 points and 11 rebounds while connecting on 11-of-14 field goal attempts. As for Derek Raivio, he tallied 13 points on the strength of a 3-of-4 showing from three-point range. The Bulldogs connected on 53.8 percent of their field goal attempts while limiting the Toreros to 37.7 percent efficiency, including 6-of-21 from behind the arc.
Despite the lack of production over the weekend, Morrison continues to average a nation-high 28.6 ppg. He can score on drives to the basket as well as shots from the perimeter, and he would potentially be the first player taken in the next NBA Draft should he decide to skip his final year of collegiate eligibility. Batista has emerged as a dominant complement to Morrison's brilliance, as the big man is racking up 19.6 ppg and 9.3 rpg. The Zags are scoring 80.1 ppg while allowing 72.0 ppg to opponents.GONZAGA SANFRAN