Gonzaga began their 2019 WCC schedule with a drubbing of Santa Clara. It was their 23rd straight league opening victory. Today, we jump in the Gonzaga Time Machine and look back at a lot of early season conference match-ups from the last 20 years. There are some notable wins, some unfortunate losses, and a memorable moment at the end. Lets take a look at the week of January 6-12.
January 6, 2007 – Gonzaga Snaps 4-Game Losing Streak
After losing four straight games for the first (and only) time under Mark Few, Gonzaga clobbered LMU, 97-62, in their 2007 WCC opener. Sean Mallon scored a career-high 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting. Derek Raivio added 22 points and broke the school record by sinking his 42nd consecutive free throw.
January 7, 2009 – Gonzaga upsets Tennessee
After beating the Volunteers in Orlando two months earlier, Gonzaga traveled to Knoxville for a true road game against 15th ranked Tennessee. Matt Bouldin tied a career-high with 26 points, Austin Daye added 20, and the Bulldogs snapped the Volunteers’ 37-game home winning streak with an 89-79 overtime victory. Ira Brown hit a three!
January 8, 2005 – Saint Mary’s Stuns #11 Gonzaga
Saint Mary’s hit a school record 16 threes and got a career-high 30 points from senior Paul Marigney to upset Gonzaga 89-81. It snapped the Bulldogs’ 17-game winning streak over the Gaels and their 17-game WCC winning streak. It was the first time Mark Few lost to the Gaels as head coach. Saint Mary’s went 11-for-15 from deep in the first half and 21-for-26 from the foul line in the second half. Gonzaga was just 3-for-11 from deep and committed 15 turnovers. Adam Morrison scored 20.
January 9, 2014 – Gonzaga loses at Portland
Gonzaga’s 2013-2014 team was a really interesting squad. It was quite obviously a transition year from the Elias Harris/Kelly Olynyk Team in 2013 to the loaded 2015 team with Wiltjer and Sabonis joining the fold. We just had to wait it out. In short, the 2014 team took some lumps. And that included a road loss at Portland, 82-73, in which Gary Bell did not play. Five different Pilots scored in double figures, including Alec Wintering and Bryce Pressley. It is one of only two Pilot wins over Gonzaga in the last 20 years. Random fact: Drew Barham and Angel Nunez both fouled out of this game.
January 10, 2013 – The Olynyk Clinic Rises
Kelly Olynyk had his true breakout in back-to-back games against Santa Clara and Saint Mary’s. After putting up 33 in the Bay Area, Olynyk returned home and scored 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting to become the first Zag to put up 30 in consecutive games since Adam Morrison. Gonzaga led this game by 20 early in the second half, but allowed the Gaels to fight back to within three. Matthew Dellavedova had a chance to tie the game with 10 seconds to go, but missed a three and Kevin Pangos iced the game with free throws. Delly went 4-for-15 from the field and got scolded by Randy Bennett after the game: “He has to make shots. No excuses. He has to play better than that if we are going to win.” Yeesh.
January 11, 2002 – Gonzaga Holds Off Santa Clara
Dan Dickau scored 29 points and the 18th-ranked Bulldogs held off a furious late rally to beat Santa Clara 83-81. Gonzaga’s 14-2 start was the best start since 1966-67. The Broncos cut into a 12-point halftime deficit and eventually made it a one-point game, but Dickau and Blake Stepp hit key shots and iced the game with free throws to hold on. Steve Ross scored a career-high 38 points for Santa Clara. Zach Gourde added 15 points in 21 minutes for the Zags.
January 11, 2018 – Brian Pete Scores
Brian Pete, team manager-turned-player, scored his first bucket as a Gonzaga Bulldog in a 103-57 route of Portland. Here’s a cool story on him as a reminder of how sweet that moment was.
January 12, 2012 – Saint Mary’s Clobbers Gonzaga
The beloved trio of Delly, Brad Waldow, and Stephen Holt combined for 56 points. Gonzaga only scored 62 as a team. Saint Mary’s won the game 83-62 in Moraga. The 21-point loss is the largest under Mark Few against the Gaels and the second worst in program history. The 2011-12 Gaels, of course, would go on to win both the regular season and tournament championships, ending Gonzaga’s reign.
Come back next week when Gonzaga and Butler square off in an instant classic. Yes, we know how it ends. Yes, there will be a video of it. You may skip it if you’d like!