Dawg Blog - Gonzaga

One of the most anticipated college basketball games in some time is about to take place. No. 6 Gonzaga trips to Seattle to take on No. 18 Washington in their house - Bank of America Arena. Will it be a house of horrors for the Bulldogs, or will Mark Few's team break the Huskies' nation-leading 28-game home winning streak?

60 minutes before tipoff: The first person I spot is Spencer Hawes. The 6-foot-11 center for Seattle Prep is in Hec Ed early for this clash of titans. He sits underneath the west basket, talking with UW coach Paul Fortier, while Jim Shaw works out both Mike Jensen and Joe Wolfinger. They work on threes and Shaw works Wolf out with put-back dunks, emphasizing putting them down with authority. Jensen is also working on conditioning, runing the length of the floor and taking outlet passes from Shaw for easy dunks. He's wearing a protective harness for his shoulder, but doesn't seem to be favoring it at all.

55 minutes before tipoff: The Huskies start to meander out for their first pre-game shooting session. The 'Zags come out too, with Adam Morrison the first to hit the floor. Chants of 'Take a Shower' are echoed with robust by the Dawgpack.

30 minutes before tipoff: FSN and the Huskies are doing a promotion, with a bunch of purple shirts - it looks like 5,000 or so - were handed out before the game. the Dawgpack - a full three sections wide tonight - look like they are going to pull out all the stops. They are all decked out in purple.

24 minutes before tipoff: The two teams come out for their last pre-game warmup. The Dawgpack has added bars of soap to their chants of 'Take a shower' to Morrison. I don't expect the junior from Mead to be phased one bit, but it's going to be entertaining to see what happens, regardless. Some of the women's volleyball team are here, including Sanja Tomasevic, Christal Morrison, Brie Hagerty and others. Busy weekend for them. Good luck in the Sweet Sixteen, ladies!

12 minutes before tipoff: The Huskies leave the court, leaving the 'Dogs to get theirs from the Dawgpack one more time before gametime.

7 minutes before tipoff: The Dawgpack is imploring everyone else to 'Wear your purple'. Lot of purple on both sidelines right now, a nice thing to see.

4 minutes before tipoff: The Huskies come out. The 'Zags haven't left and it doesn't look like they are going to. Just going through their normal drills, not a care in the world. Hec Ed is electric, just as much energy as when they beat No. 1 Stanford two years ago. The Dawgpack is again telling fans to 'Wear your purple'. There are a few stragglers and some spots of open seats, but for the most part Hec Ed is packed. The Dawgpack do their homage to Lorenzo Romar as he saunters past them.

1 minute before tipoff: Mark Few looks positively giddy talking to Romar and then gives Cameron Dollar a nice hug. They talk for about 30 seconds, with Few doing most of the talking. Would like to have been in on that conversation. The Dawgpack count down the seconds like it's New Year's Eve. It's time to pop the cork on this sucker! A fairly quick Star-Spangled Banner and we're ready for the lineups and tipoff.

Tipoff: The Dawgpack have signs of 'Dawgs Eat 'Dogs' held high during the 'Zags introduction. Of course, when the Huskies are introduced, the place goes off the hook. Big surprise. Brandon Roy brings 'em all together, and there's no question they've got just a little bigger hop to their step. 'Whose House? Dawgs' House!' is the chant coming from the Dawgpack. It's time to play some basketball. As per usual, the fans won't sit until the opposition scores a basket. We'll see how long that lasts. Cespedes starts instead of Pargo and the 'Zags immediately turn the ball over. The crowd is lit.

19 minutes to half: J.P. Batista silences the crowd momentarily but the Dawgpack is urging the rest of the crowd to stand up. We'll see how long that lasts. Dawgs up early 4-2 and Jones induces a five-second call on Raivio. Raivio's mindset and focus will be key for GU tonight.

17:35 to half: Huskies on fire, even GU's tough matchup zone isn't working. Brockman and Jones with early fouls, they need to watch that. Roy tough on Morrison, inducing a travel. The refs call Roy for the same thing on UW's possession. But for the most part, things are going UW's way early. The crowd is going with every ebb and flow, understandably so.

16:16 to half: Appleby in, first UW sub. Immediately gets an outlet to widen lead, but Williams elects one more pass inside, and it's stolen. Clearly Jamaal is doing his best work inside when he is moving toward the bucket and shooting. He has seven points early.

14:31 to half: Brockman and Joel Smith in; Romar not switching from his sub patterns. We'll see if the benches are the difference tonight. Appleby not afraid to put it up tonight. The 'Zags are drawing fouls, we'll see if the Dawgs can spread 'em around a bit. GU picks up 3/4 to slow UW down.

12:13 to half: The GU zone is slowing UW a little bit, but only as much as the 'Zags can score. When UW gets a defensive rebound, it's the Indy 500. Romar wants to keep it fast and loose, Few wants it tight. Williams in for Gasser, Roy in for Jones. The substitutions keep coming. And Morrison keeps shooting.

11:31 to half: I've noticed the Dawgpack, apart from their total enthusiasm and commitment, haven't pulled out any special cheers since pre-game. Little surprised. Maybe they are waiting until the second-half to pull out their quality material.

11:04 to half: Roy is playing tough D on Morrison, but just picked up his second. The kid is just an offensive juggernaut, with more moves than the Ladies' Man. The 'Zags are looking to run a little bit, with their guards doing some penetrating, but that just plays right into Washington's hands. They want the tempo to be high and they want to play loose and a little reckless. Brockman is more than handling his own against Batista, giving him fits.

9:41 to half: Raivio is slow to get up on a hard drive and foul by Dentmon. The fans want a travel, and it could have gone either way. Things are getting a bit chippy in the paint. Not sure who that favors. I don't think the 'Zags mind a rough game per se, I just don't think they want to get in a horse race. Here comes Artem Wallace. We know he won't back down.

7:28 to half: Boy, how many times have you seen it? Bobby Jones doing it on both ends of the court. The Zags are now going 3/4 after every made ball, going after the frosh Dentmon. He looks a little rattled, but not too bad. As long as Appleby keeps draining threes, the Huskies will force Few to rethink the zone. And as it stands on the offensive end, Morrison may have to score 40-plus to keep his team in the game. There are no other Bulldogs looking to step up and score. Pargo has looked to drive a couple of times.

6:36 to half: Roy gets his third, a HUGE play. It was a player-control foul, and a very tough call to take. Right now the refs are evening things out a bit. Appleby keeps shooting - and hitting.

4:55 to half: This crew is not endearing themselves to the home crowd. Wonder if Dick Cartmell is running things courtside? UW in a matchup zone right now. The bounces are starting to go GU's way.

3:30 to half: UW women's volleyball honored. Gasser to the line for three, as he got fouled behind the arc. Washington needs to do a better job of cleaning up on the glass, not enough bodies crashing the boards. Batista and Pendergraft doing well in that area. Gasser makes all three.

2:48 to half: Morrison is amazing, no ifs, ands or buts. He just is. Makes plays no one else in America makes. UW keeps substituting en masse. Hope it pays dividends late. Burmeister makes an appearance. Maybe he could be like Romar's version of David Hudson? Bring him in late in the half for some three punch?

1:55 to half: Dentmon makes frosh mistake, nice to always see how Romar handles his guys. Doesn't get rattled, just takes him aside, puts his arm around him and calmly explains the situation.

1:11 to half: Diallo isn't doing his team any favors. He's trying to be an enforcer inside, and all he's doing is racking up fouls. UW's hustle is amazing.

Halftime: Williams puts down a hook from the foul line to finish off the scoring. UW by nine. From the 15-minute mark on, these two teams have been duking it out like heavyweights, with UW holding a two-point edge since that point. An awfully good basketball game. GU is screening the Dawgs to death on the defensive end. That can take a lot out of a player, fighting through screens all night. We'll see how well Romar can manage that.
15:29 left in game: The Dawgpack finally gets in the groove! 'Shave your moustache' and 'Pull your head out' are just a few of the gems they've come up with in the first five minutes of the second half. The fans have REALLY grown to dislike the refs. I'm talking real distaste. Bobby Jones gets tripped on a fast break and no call. The fans go insane.

14:44 left: Batista gets his fourth, a biggie. Diallo is their only other 'physical' player down low, but he has no inside offensive game at all.

13:47 left: Morrison holds Appleby - no call. Morrison grabs the ball, scores and one. The guy is getting the NBA treatment, no doubt. Mallon picks up his fourth on an obvious make-up call and now Few is beside himself. These refs need to get control of this game before the inmates start running the asylum.

13:14 left: Romar just got t'd, and it had been coming. The refs are just digging themselves deeper and deeper. Instead of the Dawgpack, it's now the entire crowd that is chanting 'BS'. This is a dangerous time for Washington. Romar is emotional, Roy just went out with his fourth, and GU is making their living at the stripe. Dentmon is showing his spunk, drawing fouls and going in amongst the trees. You can see his scoring edge that he possesses.

11:39 left: Williams comes up with another big bucket when it counts. Don't look Jamaal, just shoot! GU is pretty remarkable in terms of their conditioning. They are hanging in, despite a thin bench and foul issues. This one looks like it's going to go to the wire.

10:48 left: Diallo is out. That means Mallon is back in and just a matter of time before Williams bangs on him a little bit. GU takes their first lead of the game at 70-69. Kudos to them for not losing their heads on the road. I'd say Hec Ed qualifies as 'hostile' tonight.

9:50 left: Despite some serious foul issues in the paint, the Zags continue to crash the boards and aren't afraid to mix it up deep. The Huskies continue to draw fouls, they need to be as clutch as the Zags have been at the free-throw line.

9:14 left: Appleby hits a three and the place explodes like I haven't seen it explode so far this year...like Haleakala ready to erupt. 'Tequila' is blasting and the Dawgpack is hopping. The energy just ratcheted up a notch as Appleby buried another trey.

7:55 left: Joel Smith from deep...what a silky stroke. But the Zags are a calm, composed bunch. They have already had some heavyweight tilts so far this year and it shows. Man, things are getting squirrly! The Dawgs are in a 2-3.

6:53 left: That wasn't a frosh move by Dentmon. Going in strong against the trees. Add a 15-footer off the wing and you can see Justin growing up in a hurry. Man, it seems like every contested ball on the baseline or sideline that's gone out has gone GU's way. I'm sure it hasn't been that way, but man, it seems like they've received more than their share.

5:09 left: Morrison is trying to will his team to victory with some outrageous shots. He's clearly the best pure scorer in America, I'm sold. But Brandon Roy sure gets my vote for the one to go to in the clutch. Doudney comes and goes for the Zags and I couldn't tell you how long he was in. Total non-factor.

3:46 left: The whole crowd is into it, the front sections are all standing. They won't sit until it's over, I bet. If the Huskies can keep forcing fouls, they should be in OK shape. Dentmon is just playing lights-out.

2:35 left: Appleby had the right idea, just didn't get the call. More subs. Roy just fouled out. Of all the players to lose, he might have been the most important, especially for his defensive pressure against Morrison. We'll see what that means in the end. Just as you would expect, the Huskies are going to play their hard-nosed, ball-pressure man until the game is over. Right now it's just a matter of man-on-man.

1:58 left: Morrison tried to get his patented call driving baseline, but it didn't happen. He looked surprised.

1:09 left: Man, talk about game-changing plays. On one end, Bobby Jones is looking like Nate Robinson in his football heyday, going high to intercept a pass intended for Morrison. Dentmon decides to drive deep along the baseline and he sends it home plus one. Four-point game with a minute left.

20.4 left: After a Dentmon miss, the Zags have it and have called time-out. Do you go for the quick two if you are the Zags? Or do you go for the do-or-die three-bomb?

5.4 left: Morrison gets his shot off, but wasn't to be. Jones gets the backside rebound off a Mallon-putback try. Jones calmly puts the first one home and strokes in the second one like butter. The Dawgs win 99-95. Hell of a hard-fought game by both teams, but in the end Morrison's 43 points wasn't enough.

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