Late 3-pointer keeps Gonzaga unbeaten in WCC

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- As soon as the buzzer sounded and Gonzaga had

avoided an upset, the Zags raced to mob Erroll Knight near


Knight got a rare chance to be the big man, hitting a 3-pointer

from the right corner with 8 seconds left to give the

Bulldogs (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today; No. 6 AP) a 64-63 victory over San Diego on Saturday.

It was a well-deserved celebration for the senior guard, who

missed the season's first eight games after having two arthroscopic

surgeries on his left knee in a span of 20 days.

"If I could pick one person in the whole world that I would

want to hit a 3-pointer at the end of the game based on everything

they have been through, it would be Erroll," coach Mark Few said.

"What a great reward. An awesome reward."

Adam Morrison agreed.

"He deserves that shot," said Morrison, the nation's leading

scorer who had an average night with 16 points. "It's a big boost

of confidence for him. This is a tough place to play."

Nir Cohen made a short jumper to give San Diego a 63-61 lead

with 28 seconds left.

Knight said he was supposed to set a screen for Derek Raivio,

who had missed an off-balance 3-pointer a few seconds earlier.

Pierre Altidor-Cespedes rebounded and passed to Raivio, who swung

around and found Knight open in the corner.

"As soon as it left my hand I knew it was in," Knight said.

"And it felt great to hit a shot like that. I'm happy for the

program and I'm happy for myself."

Knight said his left knee is at about 80 percent. He had his

first surgery on Nov. 8 to repair a piece of frayed cartilage. He

accompanied the team to the Maui Invitational and developed an

infection, possibly from going swimming in the ocean. He had a

second surgery on Nov. 28.

"It still hurts and it's something I have to deal with for the

rest of the season," said Knight, who would have been a starter if

not for the surgeries. "But I'm doing my rehab and getting


Knight had a season-high 10 points.

After Knight hit his 3-pointer, San Diego had a last chance at

the upset but Brandon Johnson missed a layup and Ross DeRogatis'

jumper at the buzzer was short.

Gonzaga (15-3, 5-0 West Coast Conference) won its sixth straight

game. The Bulldogs had trouble scoring late. Knight had a putback

with 3:34 left, then the Zags didn't get another field goal until

his winning shot.

Morrison came in with an average of 28.3 points. He had his

lowest output since scoring 15 points in a season-opening win over


The Bulldogs got a big lift from J.P Batista, who scored all 16

of his points in the second half and added 10 rebounds for his 10th

career double-double. He scored 14 straight points in a 6:20 span

in the second half to keep Gonzaga in the physical game.

Morrison said he was used as a decoy late in the second half.

"Nobody's going to help off me," he said. "What we did was

rub off J.P. and he went to work. People are so involved in trying

to stop me. I'm trying to win games here and win another WCC title.

That's first and foremost, the most important thing."

Batista's run started shortly after Morrison picked up his third

foul with more than 14 minutes to play when he tangled with Corey

Belser under the basket. Gonzaga led 38-37 at the time, with

Morrison having scored five straight points.

Batista scored on a putback with 11:30 left for a 43-37 lead. He

had a three-point play and a 3-point shot during his run, which

finished with a baseline shot with 5:10 left that pulled the Zags

to 56-55.

The Bulldogs needed every one of his points because San Diego

made five 3-pointers, including three by Nick Lewis, during his


Lewis scored 18 points for San Diego (11-6, 1-3) and DeRogatis

had 11.

"We played great defense," USD coach Brad Holland said. "We

held Gonzaga to 64 points. That's unheard of."

It was Gonzaga's lowest output since a 60-57 win at Saint Louis

on Dec. 22.

"We're still in a bit of shock right now," Lewis said. "It


Gonzaga held the Toreros scoreless in the final 5 minutes of the

first half and led 31-26 at halftime. Morrison had nine points and

two airballs in the first half.