If this, or any other website, does this feature again in future years, the non-conference gauntlet Gonzaga just ran through will be etched in those history write-ups. We are getting to the end of December, which means the non-conference match-ups are coming to an end soon. But this week in history has typically been full of really entertaining post-finals basketball games. Hop in the ole time machine and re-live the week of December 16-22.
December 16, 2017 – Gonzaga beats North Dakota in overtime
This one is still pretty fresh in many minds, not just because Gonzaga almost lost at home as 30-point favorites, but because it led to Geno Crandall. Geno played all 45 minutes in that game, scored 28 points, dished out five assists and grabbed three steals. He also hit the tying three that sent the game to overtime. It prompted Mark Few to ask about his senior year situation and the rest is history. Hopefully he can come back in a couple weeks and provide a defensive boost. Josh Perkins led Gonzaga with 20 points, seven assists and five steals as they came back from a 12-point deficit.
December 17, 2011 – Gonzaga beats Arizona in Seattle
Elias Harris scored 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting to lead the Zags to their first ever win over Arizona, 71-60. This Battle in Seattle game was not the prettiest and included the two teams shooting 9-for-40 from deep, but a win is a win. That Arizona team lost to Bucknell in the first round of the NIT in Sean Miller’s third season.
December 18, 2010 – Gonzaga hands Baylor first loss
#9 Baylor had their highest ranking in school history. Gonzaga was 5-5. The game was being playing in Dallas, less than 100 miles from the Baylor campus. The teams traded 12 lead changes in the second half before Kelly Olynyk’s three gave Gonzaga the lead for good. They held on to give Baylor their first loss of the season in a 68-64 win. Steven Gray left the game in the first half after a nasty fall, but Marquise Carter picked up the slack with 13 points and Demetri Goodson sealed the game with a steal and free throws.
December 18, 2017 – Mark Few benches Tillie; Tillie goes off
After their lackluster effort against North Dakota, Mark Few sent a message to the team, benching Killian Tillie and Johnathan Williams and starting Rui Hachimura and Jacob Larsen. Tillie and J3 responded. Tillie scored a career-high 27 points and Johnathan Williams scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Gonzaga’s 101-71 win over IUPUI.
December 19, 2009 – Duke beats up Gonzaga at MSG
#7 Duke held #15 Gonzaga to their lowest point total in 25 years with a 76-41 win at Madison Square Garden in the Aeropostale Classic. Gonzaga committed more turnovers (18) than made baskets (15). Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Co. went on to win the National Championship that season in a dramatic victory over Butler.
December 19, 2015 – The Final Battle in Seattle
We didn’t really know it at that point, but this proved to be the quiet end to the Battle in Seattle series, at least for the time being. Domantas Sabonis made sure it went out with a bang. The big man scored a career-high 36 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as Gonzaga beat Tennessee 86-79. Kyle Wiltjer added 24 points, in what was truly a two-man offense most of that season. Sabonis went 12-for-16 from the field and 12-for-15 from the line.
December 19, 2004 – Gonzaga upsets #3 Georgia Tech
Derek Raivio tied a career-high with 21 points and Adam Morrison added 24 to lead #22 Gonzaga to an 85-73 win over undefeated Georgia Tech in the Las Vegas Showdown. Gonzaga held the Yellow Jackets scoreless for the first 4:46 of the second half to pull away. Ronny Turiaf had a double-double and Sean Mallon chipped in 11 points. It tied their highest ranked victory in program history at the time (#3 Missouri).
December 20, 2008 – Gonzaga-UConn OT Thriller
In a battle of Top 10 teams, UConn got a late three from AJ Price (after Gonzaga couldn’t rebound the ball) to cap off a 12-point second half comeback and force overtime. The Zags never recovered and fell to the second-ranked Huskies 88-83 in a wildly entertaining Battle in Seattle. Steven Gray scored a career-high 23 points off the bench for the Zags, as Micah Downs and Matt Bouldin both battled and succumbed to foul trouble. The one-two punch of AJ Price and Jerome Dyson proved to be too much in OT.
December 21, 2017 – Gonzaga falls at San Diego State
After struggling for the better part of three weeks, Gonzaga finally fell at the hands of the Aztecs at Viejas Arena. Josh Perkins and Silas Melson went a combined 4-for-19 from the field and Gonzaga turned the ball over 16 times. They could never string together the stop and score they needed to tie the game. San Diego State shot 45 percent in the second half and got 30 points from their bench.
December 22, 2005 – Adam Morrison leads Gonzaga over Saint Louis
Saint Louis coach Brad Soderberg tried a triangle-and-2 defense on Adam Morrison. They held him in check for 35 minutes. But Morrison, as he always did, put the team on his back down the stretch, scoring seven of his 18 points in the final four minutes and assisting (on an air-ball) a JP Batista bucket to ice the game. The crowd in St. Louis was over 15,000, double of what normally showed up to a Billikens game. Afterwards, Morrison said, “The fans, I know they support Saint Louis, but the majority came to see us play.” A true legend.