The Bulldogs Break the Broncos

In the most lopsided win by Gonzaga over Santa Clara in the 57 year history of the rivalry, the Zags played excellent defense and followed Blake Stepp's lead on offense, putting 96 on the visiting Broncos. GU goes to 7-0 in WCC, 16-5 overall.


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It was raining threes in the Kennel as the Bulldogs posted their second consecutive impressive victory, a 96-62 drubbing of the Santa Clara Broncos. Blake Stepp continued his sharp shooting streak, scoring 26 points, including 7 three pointers, tying a personal best. As impressive as was Stepp's 7-13 (54%) accuracy from behind the arc, it was surpassed by Josh Reisman's 2-3 (67%) and Tony Skinner's 4 out of 5 (80%). But the laurels go to Zach Gourde who made his only three pointer in his lengthy career at GU!

Inside the paint, things were equally grim for the Broncos as they were outscored 32-8 from close range and out-rebounded 41-22. The rebounding statistic was impressive as the Broncos came into the game averaging more rebounds per outing and boasting a better rebounding margin than Gonzaga. Cory Violette led the Zags with 7 boards, and contributed 8 points on 4-4 shooting. Ronny Turiaf grabbed 6 rebounds and scored 16 points, while Gourde had 5 boards and 9 points.

Blake Stepp took huge strides in placing himself in rare company among Gonzaga guard history as he continued to shine in all facets of the game. One highlight after another, whether it's an NBA-range trey with 4 seconds on the shot clock, a bullet pass from the corner to Cory for a layin, a steal and points in transition or locking up his man on defense. Stepp's all-around game has never been more obvious or impressive.

Josh Reisman had his second consecutive nice game, his quickness and athleticism providing headaches for the Broncos. And Kyle Bankhead's steady hand kept the decision-making at a high IQ, despite nagging back problems. Tony Skinner was back in fine form with 15 points but sprained his ankle again and is doubtful for the next game or two.

Brian Michaelson pounded the final nails in the Bronco's coffin, hitting all three of his free throw attempts down the stretch. The Bulldogs were deadly from the line, shooting 88% for the game.

All in all, it was a great performance by the Bulldogs and a nice homecoming gift for all the alumni in attendance. Gonzaga will need to keep up the intensity for a high profile game against Pepperdine in Malibu on national TV (ESPN) this Wednesday night at 9:00pm PST.


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