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Heytvelt catches fire as Gonzaga tops Santa Clara

Feb 27, 2009 - 8:07 AM SANTA CLARA, California (Ticker) -- Josh Heytvelt scored a career-high 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds to help 17th-ranked Gonzaga pull away from Santa Clara in an 81-73 win on Thursday.

Matt Bouldin added 23 points and Austin Daye chipped in 12 for Gonzaga (22-5, 13-0 WCC), which has won five straight and 14 of 15.

The Bulldogs got a little help from the Santa Clara student's section, which drew a pair of technical fouls for its team by throwing objects onto the court late in the second half.

"That's not fair to our guys," Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating said to the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's not fair to everyone in the gym who's there to watch a good game in a great environment."

With Gonzaga up, 62-58, and 4:36 to play, Heytvelt got his own rebound and hit a fall-away jumper while drawing a foul. Before he could get to the free-throw line, a bottle flew in from the student's section, drawing the first technical.

Bouldin knocked down the technical free throws and Heytvelt hit his to complete the three-point play, giving the Bulldogs five points on the possession.

"It's unfortunate," Gonzaga coach Mark Few told the San Jose Mercury News of the Broncos getting penalized for the crowd's actions. "But they have to do something."

The Broncos never recovered, and with 1:55 to play a piece of foil from the student's section drew another technical. Bouldin hit two more free throws and Jeremy Pargo hit a layup on the free possession, putting Gonzaga up, 74-63.

"It's never happened to me before, ever in my career, in 18 years of coaching, ever been in a place where anyone's ever thrown anything on the floor," Keating told the paper.

"Whoever it was, I hope they understand that they hurt our team tonight. There's really no other way to explain it."

Trailing, 51-48, with 11:44 left, Heytvelt went to work, scoring 13 points over the next nine minutes. The senior forward topped his previous career high of 28 set Saturday against Pepperdine.

Kevin Foster finished with 20 points and John Bryant collected 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Broncos (14-16, 6-7), who shot 5-of-21 from beyond the arc and have lost three of four since a six-game winning streak ended.