Gonzaga and Oklahoma State square off in the second game of the "All College Classic."
14:41 – Gonzaga 17, OSU 10. Gonzaga has scored on every possession so far and is on pace to score about 130 points. So much for my theory that they couldn’t win the game by scoring at will as they did against Washington. The Cowboys have been settling for threes having already attempted four. Their game is predicated on slashing to hole, getting layups and supplementing that with some John Lucas and Daniel Bobik jumpers.
10:35 – Gonzaga 26, OSU 15. Ronny Turiaf heads to the bench at the 14 minute mark bothered by an ankle sprain. His replacement, JP Batista scores on the Zags next two possessions. It’s not until the 12:40 mark that OSU makes its first stop on Gonzaga. The Cowboys are still settling for the outside shot too often. OSU is shooting just 33% so far.
7:20 – Gonzaga 29, OSU 24. Turiaf goes down in pain at 8:46 and appears done for good tonight. The officials have shown that they will let the players play, and this has favored OSU over the last few minutes. Eleven of OSU’s 21 field goal attempts have been from three, a distribution Mark Few has to like. ESPN goes to break with a shot of Turiaf walking behind the Gonzaga bench, so he may try to come back after all.
3:34 – Gonzaga 39, OSU 33. How much longer is Eddie Sutton going to wait to start JamesOn Curry? The Cowboys have been more productive tonight with Curry in and Terrence Crawford on the bench.
Halftime – Gonzaga 48, OSU 39. Wow. Gonzaga almost puts up half-a-hundred on OSU with Turiaf only playing 6-8 minutes. Just more fuel to the notion that at Gonzaga, it’s as much about the system as it is about the players. One interesting thing about the Zags – apparently they have no backup for point guard Derek Raivio.
OSU finishes the half shooting 4-16 from three and 13-32 overall for 40%. Gonzaga on the other hand has shot 4-6 from three and 20-31 overall for 61%. The Zags do everything well offensively: shoot well, shoot well from three, get to the line, get offensive rebounds, and they don’t turn it over much.
There have been 34 possessions in the first half, so this game is following the form of the Gonzaga/Washington game with the offenses dominating – but especially the Zags offense. Eddie Sutton made his players practice in football pads after an early loss to BYU last season when he was displeased with the defensive effort. I wonder if he still has those pads handy.
15:14 – Gonzaga 57, OSU 43. I said this morning that this game had blowout potential, and thankfully I didn’t mention which team would win big. Of course, I meant OSU, but this game game is teetering on the brink of a runaway in favor of Gonzaga. Turiaf starts the second half, and Gonzaga scores on their first four possessions. Without Turiaf, the Zags offense is great. With him, it’s explosive. OSU is going to be seeing a lot of zone from upcoming opponents given how poor they’ve looked against Syracuse and tonight.
13:46 – Gonzaga 57, OSU 47. A couple of stops by the Cowboys and OSU is showing signs of life. It helps that Turiaf is back on the bench after picking up his fourth foul crashing the offensive boards.
10:38 – Gonzaga 65, OSU 55. Turiaf is still on the bench, but it doesn’t matter. JP Batista is a Walton-esque nine of nine from the field in Turiaf’s absence. OSU is staying within shouting distance mainly with threes. Stephen Graham hits his second of the game (and second of the season), followed by a Daniel Bobik bomb. Bobik is a guy that should be shooting them and he has just been cold.
7:38 – Gonzaga 65, OSU 62. Points are suddenly at a premium, especially for Gonzaga who’s scored only eight in the last eight minutes. Turiaf comes back in at 8:04. The game has devolved into a series a wrestling matches inside, and the officials have lost control to a certain extent.
3:54 – Gonzaga 73, OSU 71. OSU continues to be content to jack up threes in the half court set. Stephen Graham connects at 6:30 and 5:50 to keep Gonzaga from getting too much of a working margin. He had not made a single three coming into this contest and now has four. One thing about Gonzaga’s defense: they are tough in the half-court, but they give up a lot of transition opportunities. That’s the only reason OSU is still in the game. Gonzaga is willing to crash the offensive boards and trade put-backs for a few layups on the other end.
Final – Gonzaga 78, OSU 75. OSU ties it a couple of times, once at 3:26 and again at 1:52, but on both occasions Gonzaga makes a hoop on the next possession, first by Turiaf, then by Morrison. OSU finishes with 30 three point attempts, easily a season-high. By contrast, Gonzaga finishes with nine attempts. I believe Raivio played all 40 minutes. The Zags have made a convincing case to all but the most stubborn skeptics that they are the real deal. If Raivio stays healthy, they’re a legit top ten team. They’ll be favored big-time in every remaining game on the schedule.