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This Week in Gonzaga History: Way Too Much Memphis

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The Zags and Tigers played a lot in February. It didn’t go great.

Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review

Remember when Gonzaga played their annual game with Memphis right in the middle of conference season? Get ready to re-live a bunch of those games today. This week’s Gonzaga History edition is basically all Tigers and Gaels. Josh Heytvelt was arrested this week 12 years ago, but I don’t want to get into that, and would rather focus on the games themselves. So with that, lets hop in the time machine and take a look at the week of February 3-9.

February 3, 2000 – Furious Comeback over Pepperdine

The Bulldogs and Waves had some classic battles in the early years of the Gonzaga Rise. In this one, Pepperdine and Gonzaga were both undefeated in conference play and battling for first place at the Old Kennel. The Waves took a 36-23 lead into half. With just over 10 minutes to play, Pepperdine was assessed a personal foul and a technical foul and it led to a 21-4 Gonzaga run to take a four point lead with two minutes to go. They would hold on to win 62-57. Richie Frahm scored all 13 of his points in the second half. Axel Dench scored 11 of his 14 in the second half, including the three-point dagger.

February 3, 2018 – Gonzaga beats BYU at home!!

After three straight home losses to the Cougars, Gonzaga got 15 points from Rui Hachimura, 14 points from Josh Perkins, and a huge three from Zach Norvell to hold on to a 68-60 win over BYU. The Zags held Elijah Bryant to just four points on 1-of-11 shooting.

February 4, 2008 – Saint Mary’s beats Gonzaga in OT

The end of regulation was wild. With the game tied at 70, Patty Mills picked off an Austin Daye pass, took it the distance and converted a three-point play. Jeremy Pargo scored to make it a one-point game and Mills made just one of two free throws, giving Gonzaga a chance to tie the game. The great Abdullahi Kuso tied the game on a dunk to send it to overtime. Unfortunately, the combination of Mills, Omar Samhan, Diamon Simpson and six threes from Todd Golden proved to be too much and the ranked Gaels won it 89-85. It was somewhat painful to type out that group of players.

February 6, 2006 – Gonzaga beats Saint Mary’s at the buzzer

Number five Gonzaga was in another dogfight with the Gaels. With the Zags down five, Adam Morrison dunked and hit the ensuing free throw and then on the next possession tied the game with 50 seconds to go. Sean Mallon was fouled on an inbounds pass at the buzzer and hit the second of two free throws to win the game and extend the nation’s longest home court winning streak to 35 games. JP Batista led the Bulldogs with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Gonzaga-Memphis Series

I lumped all four of these games together. In 2009, in a nationally televised ESPN game, John Calipari’s 14th-ranked Tigers knocked off the 18th-ranked Bulldogs 68-50 at Spokane Arena. Steven Gray, Jeremy Pargo, and Matt Bouldin combined to shoot 4-for-20. Tyreke Evans scored 22 for Memphis.

In 2010, Gonzaga got a little revenge by beating Memphis on their home floor, 66-58. Bouldin atoned for his performance from the prior year by scoring a team-high 19 points. Will Foster went 4-for-5 from the field and Drew Barham played for Memphis in this game.

In 2011, Memphis jumped out to a 13-point advantage midway through the second half before Gonzaga stormed back. The Zags went on a 22-6 run to take a three-point lead with two minutes to go. Charles Carmouche hit a game-tying three, Gonzaga committed two late turnovers, and the Tigers escaped Spokane Arena with another victory.

After a couple years off, Gonzaga and Memphis met again in 2014 with College Gameday in town. The Zags had a 12-point lead early in the second half and a nine-point lead with five minutes to go. They went 1-for-6 from the field with four turnovers the rest of the way, Memphis scored the final 10 points, and the Bulldogs were left stunned in a 60-54 defeat. Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell combined to go 2-for-10 from deep and only scored 10 points.

February 9, 2012 – Gonzaga beats #16 Saint Mary’s

Kevin Pangos outdueled Matthew Dellavedova and Gonzaga avenged their earlier loss to the Gaels in a 73-59 victory at home. Pangos hit five threes and scored 27 points, a performance reminiscent of his game against Wazzu. You can re-watch the entire game (and most of the 2011-12 season) through this user’s youtube channel.