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Morrison kept in check, but No. 5 Zags keep rolling

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Those who question whether No. 5 Gonzaga
can win if Adam Morrison has an off day got their answer Saturday
night.

J.P. Batista had 26 points and 11 rebounds and Morrison was held
to a season-low 11 points in Gonzaga's 75-59 victory over San
Diego. The Bulldogs (24-3, 13-0 West Coast Conference) extended the
nation's longest home winning streak to 37 games.

Morrison, the nation's leading scorer at 29 points per game, was
held in check by San Diego's Corey Belser and made just three of 11
field goals. Afterward he complained about Belser's aggressive
tactics, likening them to face-guarding in football.

"He's so energized in trying to stop me, that J.P. gets layup
after layup," Morrison said. "There's a difference between being
a good defender and face-guarding me."

"We've won every time we've played them," Morrison added,
after the Zags beat the Toreros (16-10, 6-7) for the seventh
consecutive time.

In the first game between the teams, Morrison was held to 16
points as Gonzaga escaped with a 64-63 win. Morrison's season low
was 15 in the opener against Idaho.

Belser finished with two points and four fouls on Saturday.

"My role is to limit Adam Morrison's touches and make it
difficult for him," Belser said.

Morrison entered the game just a fraction ahead of Duke's J.J.
Redick for the nation's scoring lead. Redick was held to a
season-low 11 points earlier in the day by Temple.

Batista scored 18 points after halftime and Gonzaga outscored
the Toreros 39-21 in the second half. The Zags held San Diego to
7-for-27 shooting in the half while making 63 percent of their
shots.

"The point guards did a great job of bringing me the ball and I
was just getting good position," Batista said.

It should not be a surprise that the Zags can win if Morrison is
slowed, Batista said.

"With him we are great, but we all know how to play with each
other," he said.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few credited guard Erroll Knight, the
conference defensive player of the year last year, with sparking
the second-half effort.

"He changed our team's persona and intensity on the defensive
end," Few said

Gonzaga kept alive its hopes of a second undefeated league
season in three years. They host San Francisco on Monday in the
regular-season finale.

"There are not many teams left who are undefeated in
conference," Few said.

Nick Lewis scored 13 points and Ross DeRogatis and Nir Cohen had
10 apiece for San Diego.

Gonzaga has not lost at home since Feb. 19, 2003, to Portland.
Hofstra is second with 20 straight home wins. The Bulldogs won
their 15th straight game overall, second longest in the nation
behind George Washington's 16 straight. They have won 22 straight
league games.

With San Diego leading by two at halftime, Lewis opened the
second with a 3-pointer and DeRogatis made a jumper for a 43-36
Toreros lead.

Gonzaga replied with a 25-7 run, nine by Batista, for a 61-50
lead with 7:01 left.

San Diego went 6 minutes without a field goal during the run.

"We just couldn't put the ball through the net," San Diego
coach Brad Holland said. "We had good looks."

Batista, who finished 11-of-14 from the field, scored eight
straight points to help Gonzaga build a 69-52 lead with 3 minutes
left.

Batista played just 11 minutes in the first half because he had
two fouls and DeRogatis' 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Toreros a
38-36 lead at the break.

Since 1999, the Zags are 100-11 against conference opponents.
They have never lost in the 2-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center.