No. 25 Gonzaga Edges Washington State, 54-52
Dec. 8, 2004
By Nicholas K. Geranios
Pullman, Wash. (AP) - Ronny Turiaf scored 17 points and Adam Morrison added 12 as No. 25 Gonzaga held off Washington State 54-52 on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs (6-1) came into the game averaging 83 points, but the Cougars' defense held them to 41 percent shooting for their lowest point total of the season.
Washington State (3-3) came close to an upset after losing its previous game to No. 5 Oklahoma State by 52 points. The Cougars, though, made just 19 of 58 shots from the field.
Gonzaga took a 53-50 lead after Sean Mallon made one of two free throws with 2:05 left. Robbie Cowgill's turnaround jumper cut the margin to 53-52 with 26 seconds left, and Washington State was forced to foul.
Morrison hit one of two free throws with 11.8 seconds left before Washington State's Josh Akognon's long 3-point attempt hit the front of the rim and bounced out in the final seconds. In the ensuing scramble, the Cougars put up two wild shots that never had a chance to go in the basket before time expired.
Akognon and Randy Green led Washington State with 12 points each.
Washington State led 27-25 at the half.
Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes had a steal and layup and sank the foul shot to put Gonzaga up 36-33 with 13:58 left in the game. But Akognon's 3-pointer lifted Washington State to a 38-37 lead.
Consecutive baskets by J.P. Batista and Morrison gave Gonzaga a 43-38 lead.
Akognon's 3-pointer and Jeff Varem's layup cut Washington State's deficit to 48-47 with 3:50 left.
Akognon's 3-pointer gave Washington State a 50-49 lead, but Derek Raivio replied with a 3-pointer to put Gonzaga ahead 52-50.
Gonzaga has won six straight against Washington State. Two years ago, Gonzaga needed overtime to win in Pullman, 110-104.