View Full Version : December 10 Zags/WSU roundup of post-game press clippings

12-10-2008, 09:39 PM
From Jim Meehan's blog:
Zags scorch WSU in second half

On Washington State's first possession of the second half, Cougars center Aron Baynes powered inside and scored over Josh Heytvelt.

The bucket trimmed Gonzaga's lead to 32-31 and seemed to indicate that the second half was going to produce another tight, tough contest between the two rivals.

Gonzaga had other ideas. The Bulldogs answered with nine unanswered points in roughly 75 seconds. GU went on a stunning 36-5 run and cruised to a 74-52 victory Wednesday.


Jeremy Pargo triggered the 9-0 spurt with a slashing drive, a lob pass that set up Josh Heytvelt's dunk, a 3-pointer and finally a steal and another lob to Austin Daye for another dunk.

It only got worse for the Cougars, who uncharacteristically committed six turnovers in the first eight minutes of the half
Baynes had 10 points. No other Couguars reached double figures. WSU made only 17 of 51 shots, including 2 of 19 3-pointers.

12-10-2008, 09:51 PM
ESPN Photo Album (http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/photos?gameId=283450265)

And recap (Nick Geranios AP story) (http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=283450265)
ULLMAN, Wash. -- For more than 20 minutes, Washington State imposed its slowdown style on No. 4 Gonzaga and trailed by just one point.

Then Josh Heytvelt scored 11 points as Gonzaga went on a 27-2 run over a 10-minute span and coasted to a 74-52 victory Wednesday night

"We had to force our will upon them," said Jeremy Pargo, who had 11 points and 10 assists for Gonzaga (7-0), which broke a two-game losing streak to its regional rival. "We had to force them to play our ball."

When that happened, it was no contest.


"They were a little slow in the second half," said Heytvelt, who grew up nearby in Clarkston. "We had more fire and desire."

Heytvelt won the anticipated showdown with Washington State center Aron Baynes, who took only three shots, although he made them all and finished with 10 points. Heytvelt credited Gonzaga's perimeter defense.

"They weren't letting the wings throw the ball into him," Heytvelt said.


r Baynes finally scored for Washington State on a goaltending call, Gonzaga scored 12 straight points -- for a 27-2 run -- to take a 59-33 lead with 11 minutes left. The Zags shot 10-of-16 in that span.

"We are like pound dogs, we like to run," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/Junk/Emoticons/dog2_21366.gif

12-10-2008, 10:02 PM
Gonzaga runs off with game (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/cbasketball/391622_wsumen11.html)
Cougs keep it close for a time, but Bulldogs take over in second half


PULLMAN -- Daven Harmeling, sizing up the Gonzaga Bulldogs earlier this week, said he believes the Bulldogs could be the next NCAA basketball champions.

Harmeling never looked smarter -- or sadder -- than he did Wednesday night after the fourth-ranked Bulldogs walloped Harmeling's Washington State Cougars 74-52 at Friel Court.

Gonzaga star Josh Heytvelt, who sat out the last 10 minutes of the first half with two fouls, scored 17 of his game-high 22 points after intermission. The Bulldogs led only 32-29 after a foul-plagued performance in the first half, then blew the Cougars into the Palouse wheat fields with a 27-2 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

"Everything just seemed to work," Heytvelt said.

A near-capacity crowd of 10,894 turned out, predominantly WSU fans hoping for a third straight win over the Bulldogs. WSU students began lining up outside the arena in temperatures in the 30s in the early morning hours, but Cougar fans began streaming into the chilly Palouse night midway through the second half.

Heytvelt, a 6-foot-11 senior from nearby Clarkston, was worth watching to the end. He went 9 for 18 from the field, including 3 for 7 on 3-pointers, and tied a career high with three steals.

"In my two years, that's the best I've seen Josh play," said Steven Gray, Gonzaga's sophomore guard from Bainbridge. "He just went to work.

He played hard, played tough."

The 7-0 Bulldogs held 6-3 Washington State to a season-low shooting marks of 33 percent from the field (17 for 52) and 11 percent from beyond the arc (2 for 19). Long known for explosive scoring, Gonzaga has made tremendous strides on defense this season.

"It's maturity," Heytvelt said. "It's having the will to play defense."

12-10-2008, 10:12 PM
Nice coverage from KREM 2's website (http://www.krem.com/sports/gu/stories//krem2-121008-gu_wsu.4e616d78.html):

Completely unexpected: GU routs WSU, 74-52

11:03 PM PST on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

PULLMAN, WASH., - Gonzaga coach Mark Few said he was expecting a basketball game between his Bulldogs and the Washington State University Cougars to be played in the low 50s.

Little did he imagine that would only apply to one team.

The nation's number four-ranked Bulldogs throttled the Cougars in a 74-52 win at Beasley Coliseum Wednesday night.

GU (7-0) applied pressure defense early in the second half, forced WSU (6-3) into turnovers and ran away with the game. GU held a slim 32-29 lead at halftime. A 9-2 run in the first three minutes of the second half put the game away.

I wish I could get those videos to play on my laptop, but no soap, so sad ...

12-10-2008, 10:31 PM
This is all there is in this about the Zags in this post titled, "20 Random Rants, Thoughts, and Observations from the Week in College Basketball by CollegeHoops.net (http://collegehoopsnet.com/college-basketball-20-random-thoughts-observations-160440) Editor Shawn Siegel" dated December 11, but I like the way Josh is impressing. Best of luck, Big Guy, for you and for the Zags!

3 - Gonzaga is real good.. and whether you like him or not, Josh Heytvelt is going to be on an NBA roster in less than 12 months.I have no doubt JH will be a perfect gentleman in the NBA!

But first, #1 at the Big Dance!


12-10-2008, 11:11 PM
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Outcoached, Outclassed, Outplayed: Zags Dominate Cougs (http://thekennelreport.blogspot.com/)

If I was to tell you that Andrew Sorenson would play in this year's Washington State-Gonzaga game...would you believe me?


I'm really going to try and focus on the second half during this game but I guess I do have to address the sloppy play in the first half. Gonzaga looked flustered to say the least. They weren't shooting well and they were accumulating fouls very quickly. Josh Heytvelt, Rob Sacre, and Ira Brown had two fouls at halftime. Micah Downs had three. Everything looked bad for Gonzaga and it appeared as though this game was headed to another 51-47 game.

Suddenly, the Zags snapped out of it and realized that Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver and the Cougs of last year are no more.

Gonzaga was paced by its leaders. Josh Heytvelt was absolutely outstanding, Jeremy Pargo led this team beautifully, and Austin Daye rebounded from a tough start to finish very well. Congrats to Mr. Pargo as well, the official stats have not been released but I believe that he had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists. He had a very Pargo-esque stat line shooting 5-7 from the floor. Not forcing anything, but still directing this team to success. What can you say about Josh Heytvelt? You would be hard pressed to find a player that has come back from more adversity than Mr. Heytvelt. After two early (somewhat questionable) fouls, the big man who apparently dreamed of Washington State (thanks Ehlo) played beautifully. He shot 18 times tonight, including seven from three-point land. Any other night I would say that he shot too many threes but I'm so happy right now that I don't really care. He finished with 22 points and was just exquisite.

Super sophomores Austin Daye and Steven Gray were fantastic tonight as well. Gray, who finished with 9 points, hit some clutch three pointers in the first half when it appeared that WSU was in control of the game. Austin Daye, seemed flustered at the start of the game but settled in after a big three in the first half and never looked back. He showed some maturity and was really meshing well with the team. Junior Matt Bouldin had another solid game, especially (you guessed it) in the second half. He continues to play great basketball for this team and not relying on the outside shot to get baskets.

12-10-2008, 11:55 PM
Memphis tiger board (http://ncaabbs.com/showthread.php?tid=334057)

My favorite post on the thread ...

Gonzaga leading, on the road, in front of a sold-out, hostile environment... 71-39. Total domination over one of the top PAC-10 programs.

Watching these guys tonight, I firmly believe they have the talent and the experience of last year's Tiger team. When Josh Heytvelt is hitting on all cylinders, they are every bit as scary as we were, when Joey was having a monster game.

I can't wait for our game against them in a couple months. We might get humiliated, but I'm anxious to see how we stack up.

12-11-2008, 04:40 AM
BY TODD MILLES; The News Tribune (http://www.thenewstribune.com/1042/story/564131.html)

PULLMAN – The end came suddenly and shockingly, and there was not much the Washington State Cougars could do about it. A lesser team might have gotten flummoxed over the slow pace, the constant trips to the free-throw line by the Cougars, and the pound-your-head noise that was rocking Friel Court in the first half Wednesday night.
Fourth-ranked Gonzaga is not that team, and the Zags ran away in the early minutes of the second half and cruised to a 74-52 victory over the Cougars in front of a season-high crowd of 10,894.
The Zags dominated at about every position – and notably at the ones the Cougars returned experienced players, and should have fared better.
Center Josh Heytvelt (game-high 22 points) got the better of Aron Baynes (10 points), and point guard Jeremy Pargo (11 points, 10 assists) made his showdown with Taylor Rochestie (six points, no assists) a mismatch.
And in one big swoop – a 9-0 run in 70 seconds – the Zags turned a close game into a 41-31 lead with 17:55 remaining. And it got ugly after that – quickly.
“I’m real proud of our defense. That got us going in the second half,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “Our defensive efficiency was off the charts.”................

Surrounded by 20 reporters, with his back up against the concrete wall just outside his team’s locker room, Few was asked if this was as complete a game the Zags have played in a number of seasons.
“That’s a great question … especially for the first 12 minutes (of the second half),” he said, searching his memory.
“Somewhere out there. (Richie) Frahm and the guys might have done one similar.
“It’s tough to get it going against a team like this, so that makes (our performance) more surprising.”

12-11-2008, 04:51 AM
Fanhouse (http://ncaabasketball.fanhouse.com/2008/12/11/gonzaga-leaves-little-doubt-vs-wsu/):

What's really impressive is that Gonzaga is making a joke out of their tough preseason schedule. They have handled Oklahoma State, Maryland, Tennessee, Indiana and now Washington State with relative ease. The Bulldogs will play at Arizona on Sunday, which should be another indicator of how good this team is. But when you look at what they have done, you have to consider this one of Mark Few's best teams ... as we've long contended in this space.

12-11-2008, 05:05 AM
Withers: (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/cougars/2008493916_coug11.html)

And to think, the people wearing crimson thought their suffering ended with football season.

The pain only intensified here Wednesday night, only it was different. WSU fans have come to expect so much of their basketball program — 52-17 in coach Tony Bennett's first two years — that this was a different breed of comeuppance.

12-11-2008, 05:13 AM
Cougars wilt as Zags secure well-earned wow (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/moore/391620_moore11.html)

But you can say this: Unlike the Huskies, Gonzaga still remains on WSU's schedule. And the Cougs could be one of 30 Gonzaga victims this year -- the Zags are Final Four good.


12-11-2008, 09:33 AM
From the Lewiston (ID) Morning Tribune ...

Zags bombard WSU

By Matt Breach of the Tribune

PULLMAN - For a half anyway, Washington State attempted to fool everyone into thinking it was in the same class as Gonzaga. Perhaps the Cougars even began to believe it themselves.

But one epic flurry was all it took to radically alter that perception.

Fourth-ranked Gonzaga humbled WSU on Wednesday night, claiming a 74-52 triumph in a nonconference college basketball game.

After leading by just three points at intermission, the Bulldogs began the second half with a 36-7 spurt, silencing a once-raucous Beasley Coliseum crowd of 10,894.

"We just weren't poised," WSU senior Taylor Rochestie said. "... To start a half like that, we didn't give ourselves a chance."

The Cougars slip to 6-3 after suffering their second straight loss at home. All of their setbacks have come against ranked foes.

Gonzaga, meanwhile, improves to 7-0 after halting a two-game skid against its regional rival.

"They were a little slow in the second half," said Gonzaga senior and Clarkston High graduate Josh Heytvelt. "We had more fire and desire."

The Bulldogs showcased one of the nation's most potent offenses, shooting 47 percent from the field while drilling 10 3-pointers.

Heytvelt paced Gonzaga with a game-high 22 points. The 6-foot-11, 260-pound forward notched 14 of his points during the Bulldogs' second-half burst.

Austin Daye and Jeremy Pargo also reached double figures, tallying 14 and 11 points, respectively.

"We had to force our will upon them," said Pargo, who doled out 10 assists. "We had to force them to play our ball."

In addition to their high-powered offense, the Zags also displayed a suffocating defense. They coaxed 14 turnovers and ceded only 17 field goals by using a variety of full- and half-court traps.

The Cougars shot just 32.7 percent from the field. They were even worse from behind the arc, where they connected on 2 of 19 attempts.

"We lost our way," said WSU coach Tony Bennett, who suffered the worst defeat of his three-year career. "Everything that we value, we didn't do."

Still, the Cougars were competitive through the first 20 minutes. After falling behind by five early, they ripped off a 9-0 run to take a 17-13 lead midway through the period.

The clubs traded buckets for the next nine minutes until Steven Gray nailed a triple to give the Bulldogs a 30-27 advantage. They would not trail again.

Part of the reason for the taut first half was because the Bulldogs, particularly Heytvelt and Micah Downs, could not avoid foul trouble and missed substantial chunks of time.

The Cougars converted 12 of 14 free throws during the period while the Zags had just two attempts from the line.

WSU cut the deficit to 32-31 to start the second half after Aron Baynes scored inside. But Gonzaga promptly blew the game open with a barrage that spanned 131/2 minutes.

The Cougars, who trailed by as much as 33 in the second half, had as many turnovers (9) as field goals after halftime.

"I wish I could say that we kept it together," Rochestie said. "... We tried to keep our heads up and encourage each other, but that was tough."

Rochestie, who is shooting just 21 percent in his last five outings, was 2-for-11 from the floor. The senior point guard finished with three turnovers and no assists.

"We've been in situations like this before," Rochestie said, "and for me to come out and play a game like this in this high-caliber situation is unacceptable."

The Cougars, who entered the contest with the nation's top-rated defense, hadn't surrendered more than 58 points in a game before the Zags torched them Wednesday night.

"They are very potent, they showed that," Bennett said. "And we did not have an answer."

NOTES - The Cougars are now 1-73 against teams ranked fifth or higher. ... WSU has lost back-to-back home games against nonconference foes for the first time since 1985. The Cougars started their current skid with a 58-52 setback against Baylor on Saturday. ... Gonzaga has won eight of the last 11 encounters with Wazzu. The Cougars, though, still lead the series 97-46.

12-11-2008, 10:58 AM
Andy Katz blog: (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3762395&name=katz_andy)

• Can't underscore how impressive it is that Gonzaga has beaten three straight physical teams in Tennessee, Indiana and then at Washington State in a true road game Wednesday night. It's the first time since 2004-05 that the Cougars have lost consecutive back-to-back nonconference games and the first time since 1985 that it's happened at home (WSU lost to Baylor last Saturday). The only Cougar born then was Taylor Rochestie (now that makes me feel incredibly old). The 22-point loss is the largest margin in Tony Bennett's three-year tenure as head coach.

12-11-2008, 01:46 PM
Checking the Spokesman-Review web site today, I'm finding only the GU-WSU game story by AP's Nick Geranios. Just wondering whether the Spokane newspaper actually bagged out on staffing this huge local rivalry game. I know times are really tough for newspapers, and so I can understand the SR not coming up with the money to send beat writer Jim Meehan all the way to Indy to cover the GU-Indiana game. But it seems incredible to me that Meehan or Vince Grippi, who I think is the WSU beat writer, or maybe columnist John Blanchette couldn't make the 80-mile drive down to Pullman to cover this game. Lots Zags and Cougs in the Spokane area who it seems would be counting on this coverage. I'm in Seattle and read the P-I this morning and saw a nice centerpiece package on the front of the sports section -- a game story by the paper's regular Spokane correspondent, Howie Stalwick, and a staff column by Jim Moore, plus a great photo of Josh shooting over a WSU defender. I know it's possible there was a staff-written story in today's SR print edition and that it just wasn't posted in the on-line edition for some reason. But if the SR -- which has a good sports staff -- is trying to save money by not covering a game like this, it's a mistake and is just the sort of thing that will result in further erosion of circulation. For the record, I subscribed to the SR for years while living in Spokane. Back then, it was a good paper. I'm actually hoping an SR reader in Spokane can assure me that the paper actually has a staff-written GU-WSU story today and that my rant is completely off base.

12-11-2008, 02:04 PM
Start on the Spokesman's Zags page here (http://www.spokesmanreview.com/zags/). Follow the links on the right side of the page, starting with the Sportslink stories, where you'll find Vince Grippi's and Jim Meehan's blogs, then down below to the fancier print edition stories, including the Blanchette column. Weirdly enough, something of a first for me, I didn't find Blanchette's column today quite up to his usual standards, and by then I had some posting fatigue. :confused:

Note that some of the Spokesman's print edition stories are subscription only the first 24 hours or so after they are published.

The print edition was full of great stuff, spilling over two pages, with huge and terrific photos I don't see elsewhere online.

12-11-2008, 02:09 PM
Outstanding collection, ZN, as always.

12-11-2008, 02:26 PM
Thanks, ZagNative. I'm glad to know the SR did such a thorough job on this one. I was trying to find the coverage from the main site. The paper does have a good sports staff (and a good photo staff, too); John Blanchette is as good as any sports columnist working in the Northwest.

12-11-2008, 02:27 PM
Thanks to all who posted ... I like to look for stories right after the game so the early-to-bed early-to-rise crowd will find an interesting selection in the morning, but by the time I pull the comforter up at night and then stagger down to the kitchen in the morning, I'm done for the day. Post-game hangover ...

12-11-2008, 02:43 PM
One I missed this morning:

DAVE BOLING; THE NEWS TRIBUNE (http://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/columnists/boling/story/564291.html)

PULLMAN – Jeremy Pargo keeps hearing the same advice: Let the game come to you. Let the game come to you. Yeah, well, sometimes that gets a little boring.
Only moments into the second half of the game against Washington State on Wednesday night, Gonzaga’s senior point guard seemed personally affronted that the Cougars had cut the visiting Zags’ lead to one point.
As they delight in doing to opponents, the Cougars were making the No. 4 Zags look out of sync and off their game.
But in the span of slightly more than a minute, Pargo powered inside for a hoop, lofted in a deep 3-pointer, assisted with perfectly timed alley-oops to Josh Heytvelt and Austin Daye, and also came up with a steal.

Before the season, GU coach Mark Few recalled times last season when Pargo’s competitiveness and eagerness to control the game caused some of his teammates to just “stand around and watch.”
“It’s a fine line,” Few said of his demands on Pargo. “We want him attacking, but he’s attacking so much more intelligently this year. He’s got such a better feel for how the game’s going.”
After rolling to poll-climbing wins over tough opponents in a wicked non-conference campaign, the Zags were unimpressive in the first 21 minutes against WSU.
Still, Few loved Pargo’s controlled approach.
“He’s the one who kept us in the first half,” Few said. “We were very stagnant in the first half. He managed that first half. We could very well have been down at half. And then he did what he’s been doing all year for us: He spread the wealth and got Josh going and got Austin (Daye) going, Steven (Gray) going. That was big.”
When told of his pivotal minute of dominance early in the second half, Pargo played dumb. “I did that? No. Really?”
“Aw, that was just luck,” he said. “I just wanted to get out and pressure those guys as much as I can.”
And about taking over the game?
“If I do (attack), I try to do it within the offense,” he said. “If I do, that helps us, as long as I’m doing what I can as a point guard, making things easy for the guys around me.”
Few was hard-pressed to remember a time when a Gonzaga team has played better than in the five-minute stretch when the Zags stretched the lead from one point to 17 points, which expanded to 30 in the subsequent seven minutes.
He’s going to need to see a lot more of it as the Zags’ non-conference schedule still includes games against Arizona, Connecticut, Tennessee and Memphis … along with the requisite matches against conference opponents who assault the Zags with a nightly storm-the-court intensity.
Wednesday’s game, though, served as another reminder that the Zags are in the controlled hands of Pargo. He’s the engineer of this train, the driver of the bus.
And it’s going to be interesting to see just how far he can lead them.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440

12-11-2008, 03:06 PM
Cougars wilt as Zags secure well-earned wow (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/moore/391620_moore11.html)
:pThanks for finding that story, ZagPhish. Interesting read and a different take on the Zags from the biased Seattle media (aside from Withers and Boling). Nice to see they are forced to pay attention, whether they want to or not.
PULLMAN -- To be completely honest, I wanted to write about a Washington State upset of fourth-ranked Gonzaga at Friel Court on Wednesday night. I was picturing the Cougs being the lead story on "SportsCenter."

And it looked surprisingly possible for the longest time -- OK, for one half anyway. Then the Zags put on a tremendously impressive burst early in the second half, outscoring the Cougs by 25 points over a seven-minute stretch to win 74-52.

It made a guy wonder why he drove five hours to be subjected to something like this. Every time I looked up, it was a combo platter of one Washington State turnover or missed shot followed by another Gonzaga connection from anywhere on the floor. Taylor Rochestie figured in a lot of the WSU goof-ups, and he's supposed to be a senior with savvy.