Ronny Turiaf scored all 11 of Gonzaga's points and made several key defensive stops to lead the 16th-ranked Bulldogs past Georgia 82-76 on Saturday.
Turiaf, who led Gonzaga with 22 points, had a big block in overtime and
grabbed the game's final rebound as the Bulldogs avenged last season's 12-point
loss to Georgia.
"Ronny always comes up huge when we need him," Gonzaga forward Cory Violette said.
Turiaf, who has been slowed by a foot injury this season, finished with nine
rebounds and three blocks despite picking up his fourth foul with 8:45 left in
"Confidence-wise, it is huge," Turiaf said.
Rashad Wright's basket for Georgia (2-1) tied the score at 71-all at the end
Turiaf then hit three of four free throws to open the overtime to give
Gonzaga (3-1) a 74-71 lead. Georgia's Jonas Hayes, who had 20 points, sank a
pair from the line to make it 74-73.
Turiaf made it 76-73 with a turnaround jumper, then blocked Hayes' shot and
made a layup on the other end for a 78-73 lead.
Levi Stukes replied with a 3-pointer and Georgia trailed 78-76 with 1:15
left. Each team missed a shot and Gonzaga ran down the clock before Turiaf was
fouled with 8 seconds left.
He made both free throws, then rebounded Wright's missed shot on the other
end. Turiaf made two final free throws with less than a second left.
"It was great in that he fought back from adversity," Gonzaga Coach
Mark Few said of Turiaf, who was limited to six points in the second half.
"He likes to lull around, take a few punches, rope-a-dope, then he comes on
strong at the end."
Georgia Coach Dennis Felton was impressed with Turiaf and the Gonzaga system.
"He's obviously one of the best post products in the country,"
Felton said. "I have so much respect and admiration for how they teach the
game at Gonzaga."
Wright led Georgia with 21 points and played 44 minutes.
"He's a special player," Felton said. "He's so poised and
Damien Wilkins added 17 points for Georgia. After shooting 45 percent in the
first half, Georgia connected on just 13 of 34 shots in the second half and
Georgia was called for 25 fouls and Gonzaga for 19.
"There were not enough fouls to go around," Violette said. "It
was a rough, rough game."
Blake Stepp had 13 points and eight assists for Gonzaga. Freshman Adam Morrison added 12 points.
Last year, Georgia beat Gonzaga 95-83 in Atlanta, Gonzaga's largest margin of
defeat all season.
Gonzaga plays just one or two home games a year away from the tiny Martin
Centre in the much larger Spokane Arena. That seemed to throw the Bulldogs'
shooting off Saturday, as they made just 3-of-20 from 3-point range.
Georgia led 54-52 when Violette scored five consecutive points. Erroll
Knight's layup capped a 7-0 run as Gonzaga built a 59-54 lead with 6 minutes
left in regulation. But Wright's steal and slam, followed by his 3-pointer,
finished a 7-0 Georgia reply for a 63-61 lead.
Violette, who had 11 points, fouled out with the score tied 65-all with 2:13
left, and Hayes made both free throws. Freshman Sean Mallon, who replaced
Violette, scored consecutive layups for a 69-67 Gonzaga lead with 1 minute left.
Damien Wilkins' free throws tied the game at 69-all.
Wright fouled Stepp with 11 seconds left and Stepp swished both free throws.
But Wright hit a short jumper to tie the score at 71-all and Stepp's half court
shot missed as time expired.
Morrison scored six of Gonzaga's final nine points for a 37-33 halftime lead.
Hoop Dawgs drop Heartbreaker in OT
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