for this game

Gonzaga fights off pesky San Francisco

Feb 15, 2009 - 7:45 AM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- For 30 minutes, Gonzaga seemed overwhelmed by the effort from undermanned San Francisco.

Austin Daye scored 17 points and the 21st-ranked 'Zags were able to wear down the suspension-depleted Dons en route to a 78-73 victory in a West Coast Conference game on Saturday.

"You have to give them credit for making shots," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "Rex (USF coach Rex Walters) did the right think to get some deadweight out of the program. He's got some guys who want to play hard."

Despite having four players suspended earlier this week by Walters, including second-leading scorer Manny Quezada, San Francisco (9-17, 1-10) was within 61-59 when Blake Wallace hit a 3-point shot with 8 1/2 minutes left.

"We did not play particularly inspired," Few said. "We had a general malaise about us, but we got through it. We played the way we were supposed to play in spurts."

Gonzaga (19-5, 10-0) hit the switch and opened a 73-60 lead when Daye hit a free throw to cap the burst with 3:44 left. Daye scored 13 of his team's last 19 points.

The Dons ran off seven straight points but soon after ran out of time as Daye sealed the victory with five free throws in the last half-minute.

Dior Lowhorn led USF with 23 points.

San Francisco only had eight players and one, Chris O'Brien, fouled out.

The Dons hit 23-of-57 shots (40 percent) but were 14-of-22 from beyond the arc. Lowhorn was 4-of-4 from long range and Blake Wallace scored 19 points on 6-of-9 from the field, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Gonzaga was tested despite a sizzling shooting effort. The 'Zags hit 61 percent (30-of-49), including 9-of-17 from long distance.

Still, Few doesn't know what to make of his squad.

"This group, who knows?" he said. "They're not mature enough at times to understand night in and night out what it takes."