for this game

Gonzaga blasts South Carloina Upstate in NCAA tuneup

Mar 4, 2009 - 6:30 AM SPOKANE, Washington (Ticker) -- Gonzaga stepped out of conference on Tuesday for a final tuneup before the West Coast Conference tournament starts next week and trounced South Carolina Upstate, 90-40, on senior night.

Matt Bouldin led with 16 points and Josh Heytvelt added 12 as 10 different players found their way onto the scoresheet for the Bulldogs (24-5), who have won seven straight.

"It's a perfect ending here at home for the seniors," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "We wanted to get after them on defense, and everyone was incredibly unselfish."

Gonzaga shot 47 percent (35-of-74) en route to its largest win of the season.

Senior forward Bobby Davis led the way with 20 points for the Spartans (9-21), who had their two-game winning streak snapped.

The blow out gave Gonzaga a chance to empty its bench, allowing seldom-used senior Andrew Sorenson to notch a career-high 15 points in his final regular season game. Sorenson brought his more heralded teammates out of their seats when he drained a 3-pointer with 1:52 left.

"This is going to be a long-told story," Sorenson said. "My kids are going to get sick of it."

The Bulldogs spent the final minute trying to get junior Chris Pontarolo-Maag his first career field goal. The guard from Quincy, Washington missed a pair of jumpers before finally converting a layup with 45 seconds left.

The seniors were all recognized prior to the game and came out strong against the Spartans, opening up a 43-16 lead at the break.

Heytvelt, who was suspended two seasons ago for drug use, was particularly emotional, thanking the fans after the contest for "welcoming him back" before handing the microphone off.

South Carolina Upstate was held to 30 percent (14-of-47) shooting while turning the ball over 26 times.

Gonzaga goes into next week's West Coast Conference tournament undefeated in league play and with an eye on securing a No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

"People play with a sense of desperation down there that we need to match," Few said of the conference tournament, which takes place in Las Vegas. "They are tough, grinder games."