No. 18 Gonzaga Defeats Northern Colorado

Tuesday, December 18th 2007, 7:37 am
By: News On 6

One veteran freshman and another making his college debut led short-handed Gonzaga in its first game after a nine-day break for final exams.

Austin Daye, the 18th-ranked Bulldogs' second-leading scorer and one of five players to average more than 20 minutes, had 18 points and seven rebounds in their 77-57 victory over Northern Colorado on Monday night.

Steven Gray, who missed the first 10 games of his freshman season after fracturing his wrist in an exhibition game, was cleared to play last week and he made his debut against Northern Colorado with 12 points in 28 minutes.

Gray had a pin inserted in his wrist on Nov. 14. With leading scorer Matt Bouldin out with an ankle injury, and starting guard Jeremy Pargo slowed by a hyperextended knee, his expected playing time grew sharply in the past week.

``At first it was 'You'll get some minutes at the end,''' Gray said. ``Then Matt went down and they told me to be ready to go.

``You have to make the most of your opportunities.''

Gray, who is also battling a cold, added four rebounds.

``I was proud how Steven came out in his first action,'' Zags coach Mark Few said.

In other games involving ranked teams on Monday, it was: No. 6 Duke 111, Albany 70; No. 10 Marquette 80, IPFW 56; No. 22 Miami 89, Stetson 53; and No. 25 Southern California 83, Delaware State 54.

Micah Downs had 17 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers in 10 attempts, and Pargo had 10 points and eight assists for Gonzaga (9-2).

The status of Bouldin, who averages 13.3 points, is unclear for Thursday's game at Oklahoma, Few said. Forward Abdullahi Kuso, who had rolled an ankle, didn't score in 8 minutes on Monday.

Jabrik Banks had 18 points for Northern Colorado (5-4), which shot 24 percent in the first half and 31 percent for the game. The Bears missed their first 13 shots from 3-point range, and finished 4-for-20 from behind the arc.

``We couldn't get anything going offensively,'' Northern Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. ``Our guys aren't used to playing against that size of players.''

Gonzaga outrebounded the Bears 45-37 and blocked four shots.

No. 6 Duke 111, Albany 70

DeMarcus Nelson scored 23 points and Jon Scheyer added 18 for the Blue Devils (10-0), who shot 60 percent, including 15-for-26 from 3-point range, in their first game since Dec. 8. Duke improved to 10-0 for the sixth time in eight seasons. Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski earned his 785th career victory to move within a game of tying Lefty Driesell for sixth on the all-time list.

Tim Ambrose scored a career-high 24 points for the visiting Great Danes (5-5), who fell behind by double figures about 5 1/2 minutes in and trailed by 26 points at halftime.

No. 10 Marquette 80, IPFW 56

Dominic James had 17 points and six assists and Wesley Matthews added 15 points for the Golden Eagles (8-1), who played their second game in three nights after playing just two games the previous two weeks because of final exams.

Jaraun Burrows had 13 points for the visiting Mastodons (4-6), who lost 79-57 at No. 9 Michigan State on Saturday.

No. 22 Miami 89, Stetson 53

Brian Asbury scored 18 points for the Hurricanes (10-0), who were playing their first game as a ranked team in five years. Raymond Hicks had 15 points and James Dews added 14 for Miami, which opened the game with a 19-4 run.

Miami, which had five players score in double figures, was ranked for the final 12 weeks of the 2001-02 season, reaching as high as No. 12.

Eric Diaz had 13 points for the visiting Hatters (2-8), who lost their fourth straight game and ninth in their past 10.

No. 25 USC 83, Delaware St. 54

Dwight Lewis scored 18 points and Davon Jefferson added 17 for the Trojans (7-3), who shot 68 percent from the field, 67 percent from 3-point range and 60 percent from the free-throw line.

USC, which played for the first time in nearly two weeks, was coming off consecutive losses to No. 3 Kansas and No. 2 Memphis, both by four points, that dropped them out of the Top 25. They returned to the rankings on Monday.

Roy Bright scored 22 points for the visiting Hornets (3-6), who lost for the sixth time in seven games.