for this game

Dominguez comes up big as Portland State shocks Gonzaga

Dec 24, 2008 - 6:05 AM SPOKANE, Washington (Ticker) -- Portland State will be heading into the new year with something it had never had before: a win over a ranked team.

Jeremiah Dominguez scored 25 points as Portland State did the unthinkable, knocking off seventh-ranked Gonzaga at home, 77-70, on Tuesday.

Phil Nelson and Dominic Waters had 16 points apiece for the Vikings (9-3), who handed the Bulldogs just their third loss since the McCarthey Athletic Center opened in 2004 - a span of 58 games.

"We got what we deserved," a disappointed Gonzaga coach Mark Few said after the game. "They came out, outhustled us, outsmarted us (and) outplayed us."

Portland State nearly did not make it to the game due to the big snowstorm that has blanketed the Pacific Northwest. It had to deal with a 48-hour bus ride, arriving Spokane in the afternoon and too late to have a shootaround.

It was well worth it though, as the Vikings shot 46 percent (28-of-61) from the field, including 12-of-31 on 3-pointers, in securing one of their biggest wins since re-establishing their basketball program in 1996-97.

"I don't know how to compare this win," Portland State coach Ken Bone said.

The only one that may be bigger is Portland State's victory over Northern Arizona in the Big Sky Conference championship game last March to secure its first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

"I knew they were good, this game had concerned me since the summer," Few said. "We spent a lot of time talking about how we had to come out, get after these guys. The guys did not take them serious enough."

Gonzaga (8-3), which absorbed a tough 88-83 overtime loss to No. 2 Connecticut on Saturday, was trailing 67-62 with 3:42 to play when Julius Thomas was fouled on a putback.

The junior forward missed the ensuing free throw, and the Bulldogs ripped off a 7-0 run to pull ahead, 69-67, on a three-point play by Jeremy Pargo with 2:16.

Yet, Portland State, which displayed little fear up to that point, continued to play with confidence, responding with a 7-0 run.

Dominic Waters hit a floater in the lane to knot the score at 69-69 with 1:47 left, and Nelson broke the deadlock 58 seconds later with a 3-pointer. Waters also sank two free throws with 31 ticks to play, building a 74-69 cushion.

The Bulldogs had a chance to go ahead moments before Nelson's shot from the arc, but Josh Heytvelt's short jumper in the lane after corralling an offensive rebound got wedged between the backboard and the rim.

It was a bad break for Gonzaga, as the possession arrow favored Portland State.

Pargo split two free throws with 25 seconds left as the Bulldogs missed their final five shots of the game.

Just 5-6 in stature, Dominguez notched a career high in made 3-pointers, going 7-of-10 from the arc. He also had six rebounds and handed out five assists.

"He's terrific, I've always liked him," Few said of Dominguez. "We scrimmaged them last year. If you let him make threes, like we did, then he can be really effective."

Matt Bouldin had 18 points and Heytvelt 13 and eight rebounds for Gonzaga, which was topped on the boards by a 39-30 margin.

Austin Daye scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Pargo chipped in 11 points and seven assists for the Bulldogs, who had won the previous 10 meetings in the series. The Vikings had not won in Spokane since January 17, 1974.

Portland State had a grasp of the game right from the start, taking a 15-6 lead less than six minutes in. The Vikings could have had a sizable lead at the break, but the Bulldogs closed the first half with a 13-5 run to trail by just a point, 38-37.

Although Gonzaga twice grabbed a lead in the opening minutes of the second half, Portland State did not fold, going ahead 51-46 on a 3-pointer by Dominguez with 13:09 remaining.