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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Zags senior guard outshines Longhorns’ spectacular freshman

    Gonzagas Jeremy Pargo (2) shoots over Texas guard Justin Mason during the first half of Gonzaga Hall of Fame challenge game against Texas, Saturday December 2, 2006 at US Airways Arena in Phoenix.
    Gonzaga’s Jeremy Pargo (2) shoots over Texas guard Justin Mason during the first half of Gonzaga Hall of Fame challenge game against Texas, Saturday December 2, 2006 at US Airways Arena in Phoenix.

    PHOENIX – The hype before the game was all about the freshmen, but it was the senior who shined in No. 22 Gonzaga’s 87-77 win over Texas today at US Airways Center. While heralded freshman Kevin Durant showed why he could have been a lottery pick in last year’s NBA Draft if high school players could enter, scoring 29 points and grabbing nine rebounds, his unconscious shot selection (8-of-18 from the field) likely reminded Texas head coach Rick Barnes that his nearly 7-foot shooting star was still a freshman.

    “”For the most part for every shot he got,”” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said.

    Gonzaga’s baby-faced senior guard Derek Raivio scored 27 points, including 7-of-14 from behind the 3-point line, and the Bulldogs pulled away with a 33-10 second-half run that spanned over seven minutes to 6:51 left in the game when Gonzaga took its biggest lead of the game at 87-59.

    Jeremy Pargo added 18 points and six assists, and Josh Heytvelt scored 13 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for Gonzaga (8-1).

    “”The maturity with this team is hopefully starting to show a little bit,”” Few said. “”We didn’t panic, and we went back to what had been working, which was spreading it and making the extra pass.

    The Bulldogs shot exactly 50 percent from the field in each half, while the Longhorns (5-2) made 41.0 percent of their shots for the game.

    Gonzaga closed the first half on a 17-6 run over the last 6:44 to gain a 43-33 halftime advantage.

    Durant, a 6-foot-10 forward, hung around the 3-point line, attempting seven 3s while also turning the ball over five times. He didn’t receive much help from his teammates either as only freshman guard Justin Mason scored in double figures with 17 points, and Texas shot 3-of-14 from 3-point range in the first half.

    “”That team’s (Texas) going to be really good in February and March, and we just thought to alleviate some of their athleticism, we were going to make sure we were going to take some conviction to execute our half-court sets and make them guard us for a while,”” Few said.

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