10:00 PM ET, January 13, 2005
McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, Washington
Batista, a junior college transfer, scored 17 points, and Turiaf had 16 to help the Bulldogs (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP) beat Loyola Marymount 76-65 on Thursday night.
Gonzaga (12-3, 2-1 West Coast) rebounded from a loss Saturday night at Saint Mary's, the Bulldogs' first conference loss in two years.
Turiaf also rebounded after averaging six points in his last three games.
"He's back," coach Mark Few said. "That was the old Ronny. He was bouncing around, he played with confidence and played with fire. He was really solid tonight."
Turiaf got a birthday cake and the sellout crowd of 6,000 serenaded him with "Happy Birthday" both during and after the game.
But Loyola Marymount (9-7, 1-2) almost spoiled the party.
After trailing 40-27 at halftime, the Lions roared back to cut it to 58-57 with about 6 minutes left. But the Bulldogs managed to clamp down on defense, outscoring the Lions 18-8 the rest of the way.
Loyola shot just 39 percent in the game, and was 3-of-19 from 3-point range as Batista and Turiaf clogged up the inside.
"With Batista and Turiaf in the paint, that forces you to take perimeter shots," Loyola coach Steve Aggers said.
He noted that Saint Mary's, which snapped Gonzaga's conference winning streak at 17 games, hit 16 3-pointers to beat the Bulldogs.
Aggers was proud that his team played Gonzaga tough in a place where they have lost 14 straight since 1991.
The Lions sent Gonzaga to the foul line 39 times, and they made 27 of those. Loyola Marymount was 6-of-11 from the line.
"We were able to pound it inside and get to the line," Few said.
Few started Batista in place of sophomore Sean Mallon as a reward for Batista's strong recent play. As a bonus, Mallon also played well off the bench, scoring 13 points and adding five rebounds.
"He's got a lot of character," Few said of Mallon, who scored 11 of his points in the second half. Batista had 15 of his 17 in the first.
Trailing by 13 points at halftime, Loyola Marymount opened the second half with a 17-7 run, six by Knight, to cut Gonzaga's lead to 47-44 with 12 minutes left. Gonzaga had only one field goal in the first 6 minutes of the second half.
Turiaf's slam ended a 6-0 Gonzaga reply for a 53-44 lead.
But Loyola fought back, and Haywood's shot over Adam Morrison cut Gonzaga's lead to 58-57 with just under 6 minutes left.
Raivio's 3-pointer gave Gonzaga a 64-59 lead with 4:31 left. Loyola cut that lead to 66-63, but Gonzaga used five free throws and a put-back by Turiaf in the closing 2 minutes to build a 73-63 lead and ice the game.
In the first half, Loyola Marymount trailed just 21-17 thanks to 10 points by Knight. Batista scored seven points during a 13-2 Gonzaga run late in the first half to build a 36-21 lead. The Lions missed their first 11 3-point attempts before Wes Wardrop hit one in the final minutes to help cut Gonzaga's halftime lead to 40-27.
Gonzaga shot 53 percent in the game, making 23 of 43 shots.
Loyola Marymount has lost 19 of its past 20 games against Gonzaga, winning at home in 2003.
Gonzaga has not lost consecutive games since losing to Indiana and Kentucky early in the 2002-03 season.
Gonzaga is 30-0 at home when ranked, and has won 18 home games in a row.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||28-71 (.394)||23-43 (.535)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-19 (.158)||3-8 (.375)|
|FT Made-Attempted||6-11 (.545)||27-39 (.692)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||28 (0/0)||15 (0/0)|