LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The Gonzaga Bulldogs showed they belonged on
the floor with a top-5 team. That wasn't the case earlier in this
Adam Morrison scored 24 points to lift Gonzaga (No. 22 AP) to an 85-73 victory Saturday night over No. 3 Georgia Tech in the Las Vegas Showdown.
Derek Raivio tied a career high with 21 points on 11-of-18
shooting for Gonzaga (8-1), which earned its biggest victory since
beating No. 3 Missouri on Dec. 13, 2003.
During Thanksgiving weekend, Gonzaga faced No. 1 Illinois and
was beaten by 17 points in the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis.
But the Bulldogs have turned things around in a hurry.
"We looked like a JV team against Illinois," Gonzaga coach
Mark Few said. "So our approach for this game was different. I'm
proud of how we came out and played tough. You have to play tough
against the great teams and that is what we did."
Will Bynum scored a career-high 28 points, going 9-of-16 from
the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. But it wasn't enough
for the Yellow Jackets (7-1), who lost for the first time since
falling to Connecticut in last season's NCAA Tournament
Gonzaga led 45-41 at halftime and then held Georgia Tech
scoreless for the first 4:46 of the second half. The Bulldogs built
their biggest lead to 15 points twice, the last at 68-53 with 10:28
The Yellow Jackets got to 75-70 with 3:28 left, but Gonzaga
pulled away late.
"We didn't attack their zone well," Georgia Tech coach Paul
Hewitt said. "Defensively, we didn't play as well as we are
capable of. They had too many chances to drive down the middle of
Ronny Turiaf had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga, and Sean
Mallon added 11 points.
B.J. Elder scored 16 points, and Jarrett Jack added 15 for
Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets' reserves outscored Gonzaga's
Georgia Tech wasn't helped by the late start time. The tip was
after midnight ET, the time zone the Yellow Jackets are used to
and traveled from.
"In all fairness to them, this was a hard game," Few said.
"It was a 12:30 a.m. start and they had to come across the
Gonzaga led 14-8 before Georgia Tech went on a 22-9 run to build
their largest lead of the game, 30-23 with 8:41 left in the first
half. Gonzaga responded with a 9-0 run.
The Bulldogs made 16 of 30 shots in the first half.