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Heytvelt, huge second half fuel Gonzaga rout

Dec 11, 2008 - 7:07 AM PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Gonzaga showed it's not the only team that can play defense in the state of Washington.

The Bulldogs are also pretty good on offense too.

Josh Heytvelt scored 22 points and fourth-ranked Gonzaga exploded after halftime to pound intra-state rival Washington State, 74-52, on Wednesday.

Austin Daye scored 14 points and Jeremy Pargo added 11 and 10 assists for the Bulldogs (7-0), who are off to their best start since the team went 8-0 to start the 1994-95 campaign.

"I'm real proud of our defense," Bulldogs coach Mark Few said. "That got us going in the second half. Our defensive efficiency was off the charts."

Trailing by three at the break, the Cougars scored the first basket of the second half before the Bulldogs started to pull away by effectively speeding up the game.

Gonzaga made four straight shots, racing down court before Washington State could set up on a couple of those occasions, and went on a 15-0 burst to take a 47-31 lead with 15:10 left.

"We watched the game North Carolina played against them last year (in the NCAA Tournament)," said Gonzaga guard Matt Bouldin, who added eight points. "The thing we learned, they pushed it every time. That is something we hang our hat on."

Aron Baynes momentarily stopped the run with a layup, but the Bulldogs reeled off 12 more unanswered points - five from Heytvelt - to take a 59-33 bulge with 10:48 remaining.

The Bulldogs continued to force turnovers and score in transition, leading by as many as 33 before taking their starters out with five minutes left to play.

Gonzaga shot 48 percent (29-of-61) from the field, including 10-of-23 from the arc against Washington State, which was holding opponents to a nation-best 31.7 percent shooting coming into the game.

The Cougars had allowed 41 points or less in four of their previous eight games and the 74 points were the most they had allowed this season.

Washington State (6-3) connected on only 33 percent (17-of-52) of their shots, a number aided by making five straight baskets at one point late in the game against the end of the Gonzaga bench. The Cougars were 2-of-19 from the arc and also committed 14 turnovers.

"When we don't make teams set up against us, we don't take care of the ball against a team like Gonzaga, we have little or no chance," Cougars coach Tony Bennett said.

Baynes finished with 10 points and freshman DeAngelo Casto also had 10 to lead the Cougars, who had defeated the Bulldogs each of the past two years.

In the first half, Micah Downs' second 3-pointer gave Gonzaga a five-point lead but Caleb Forrest scored five points during a 9-0 run that gave Washington State a 17-13 edge with 9:18 left before the break.

The Bulldogs fought back to tie the game and the teams went back and forth for the rest of the first half.

Daye made a layup following Steven Gray's 3-pointer to give Gonzaga a five-point lead in the final minute but freshman Klay Thompson answered to pull Washington State within 32-29 at the break.

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    GONZAGA (4) 32 42 74

    Dec 10 11:50 PM
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Gonzaga(4) 45, Washington State 31  2nd - 15:21Dec 10 11:20 PM

    (4) GONZAGA 32

    Dec 10 10:52 PM