Gonzaga Adds to Toreros' Losing Streak

From Staff and Wire Reports

The Pacific Northwest didn't provide any breath of fresh air for the University of San Diego, which lost to Gonzaga, 58-50, in front of 3,208 in the Martin Centre.

It was USD's seventh consecutive West Coast Conference defeat.

Now 0-for-February with the loss, USD remained tied with Portland for sixth place in the WCC at 3-8. Portland lost at home to Santa Clara Thursday, 74-61. USD and Portland will break the tie Saturday in Portland. The Toreros, 11-6 when the losing streak began Jan. 25 with an overtime loss to Gonzaga, fell to 11-13 overall. They need to win at least three more games to finish at .500 or better.

The loss tied the worst skid in Egan's eight years at USD, which had a similar streak in the 1988-89 season. The school record since the program was upgraded to Division I is 10 in a row, set in 1979-80, the first season in Division I.

Gonzaga, second in the WCC, is 8-3 and 18-6 and improved its home record to 12-1. The Bulldogs are aiming for their first 20-win season on the Division I level.

The cold-shooting Toreros, who were losing at halftime, 29-21, fell behind 41-29 with 15 minutes to play, then closed to 49-45 with 4:32 left, with Kelvin Woods and Michael Brown leading the late rally.

Woods finished with 16 points--12 in the second half--and was the only Torero to have much luck shooting, making seven of 10 shots. Brown scored eight of his nine points in the second half.

But Gonzaga, which struggled at the foul line, going 15 of 28, made nine of 12 free throws in the final three minutes to hold on.

Gonzaga's Jeff Brown and Jarrod Davis, who combined for 37 points when the teams met in San Diego, were the instrumental scorers again, each getting 18 and shooting a combined 13 for 21. Gonzaga shot 58% in the second half and 52.6% overall.

USD, which made only five of 17 first-half shots (29%), shot 37% for the game and struggled from the perimeter, making two of 11 three-point attempts.

"We're playing hard and trying and we haven't given in," USD Coach Hank Egan said of the streak. "(Gonzaga) went from a man-to-man to a zone (defense) in the second half and we struggled from outside."

Gylan Dottin was the only other Torero in double figures, getting 10 points, all in the first half. The Toreros outrebounded Gonzaga, 29-28, but Woods said they had problems with Gonzaga's rugged style.

"They're a physical team," he said. "The atmosphere here is hard to play in. You just have to put it out of your mind. We've worked hard and come close, we just haven't gotten it done at the end."

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