Huskies Lose Shooting Touch, Lead To No. 17 Gonzaga

Dec 4, 2003

AP Sports Writer

SEATTLE (AP) - The flu bug couldn't slow the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Neither could the Washington Huskies.

Cory Violette scored 15 points while Tony Skinner and Blake Stepp each had 14, leading No. 17 Gonzaga to an 86-62 victory over Washington on Wednesday night.

The Bulldogs (4-1) shook off a week of illness that struck the team. They won by backing into a steady zone defense and dominating inside, which only partly explained Washington's 31 percent shooting.

'It's pick your poison,' Gonzaga coach Mark Few said, describing the Huskies (3-1).

'They've got a team that really shoots. They're also great drivers,' Few said. 'They can spread you out. We came in here and we were going to play both defenses. One just happened to work better than the other.'

Washington couldn't make a field goal over a 15-minute span during a 39-6 Gonzaga run on either side of halftime.

'We really didn't have any momentum plays to get our crowd into it,' said Washington's Curtis Allen. 'We missed a lot of shots. We couldn't get anything going. That matchup zone really did well against us.'

Richard Fox had 14 rebounds as the Bulldogs held a 48-26 edge on the boards. Gonzaga shot 61 percent and enjoyed a 54-16 advantage in the paint, showing no signs of the flu that struck the team last week.

'We're 10 deep. If one guy doesn't play well or feel good, we'll put another guy in and that guy will lead us,' said Ronny Turiaf, who scored 12 points.

The Bulldogs won their sixth straight over the Huskies, illustrating the gap that second-year Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has said he hopes to close between the cross-state schools.

'All the hype about Gonzaga is true,' Romar said. 'They are a good basketball team. We have known that for a while and they proved it again here tonight. They are kind of like a machine.'

Will Conroy scored 15 points to lead the Huskies, who haven't beaten a ranked opponent in four seasons. Brandon Roy scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half for Washington, which has lost 10 straight to ranked teams.

Erroll Knigh t, a former Husky who transferred to Gonzaga after Romar was hired to replace the fired Bob Be nder, scored three points in limited action. He is coming back from two ankle injuries.

The Huskies shot 31 percent in the first half and went without a field goal from the time Bobby Jones hit a jumper with 7:47 to play in the first half until Allen's 14-footer with 12:45 remaining.

'If you play a team that's marginal, you may be able to overcome that,' Romar said. 'If you play a team like Gonzaga, you will pay for it.'

Gonzaga, meanwhile, used inside baskets and steady shooting to offset 17 turnovers. Skinner, a junior college transfer, made his first three attempts as the Bulldogs raced to a 15-9 lead.

Roy scored eight points in Washington's 19-5 run over a span of 4:26 midway through the first half, and the Huskies built a 30-22 lead to touch off a celebration among the Washington students.

The Bulldogs silenced them by going inside to Violette and Turiaf. They used runs of 11-1 and 10-1 late in the half and led 43-35 at halftime.

'We have good players in there,' Few said. 'They're experienced and they're tough. Once Ronny and Cory started to figure it out, I think they really went to work. That's what they can do.'

Romar blamed breakdowns on defense and Washington's inability to value every possession for the key swing. Allen agreed.

'We got a little undisciplined on a couple of plays and they killed us,' Allen said. 'Anytime you do that against a team like Gonzaga, they're going to take advantage of you.'

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