Gonzaga gives MU first loss

Tigers shoot 34 percent and can’t stop Ronny Turiaf after halftime.
Sunday, December 14, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 10:45 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Quin Snyder’s homecoming did not go as planned.

The Tigers struggled from the field, and Missouri lost 87-80 to Gonzaga in overtime on Saturday in Seattle.

The Bulldogs closed the game on a 12-1 run. With the game tied at 73, the Tigers scored six of the first eight points in overtime. Four Gonzaga free throws and a turnaround jumper from Ronny Turiaf put the Bulldogs ahead 81-80 with 1:01 left.

Missouri’s Rickey Paulding lost control of the ball and missed a dunk, and Jimmy McKinney was called for charging on the subsequent possession. Paulding stepped out of bounds with 13.7 seconds left and Missouri down 83-80.

“Those are momentum plays, especially when you don’t convert them,” Snyder said in a postgame radio interview.

A Mercer Island, Wash., native, Snyder saw his No. 3 Tigers drop to 3-1 and the No. 17 Bulldogs improve to 7-1. Gonzaga made all 10 of its free throws in overtime.

Missouri controlled the first half, but Gonzaga took control with a 12-3 run early in the second half. Missouri responded with a 15-3 rally to lead 67-62 with 2:47 to play.

Gonzaga answered with six points in 11 seconds. Turiaf made a jumper, and Linas Kleiza fouled him. Turiaf missed the free throw, but Gonzaga controlled the rebound, leading to a Cory Violette layup while McKinney fouled him.

Violette also missed the foul shot, but Turiaf corralled the ball and scored, putting Gonzaga ahead 68-67. Turiaf made two free throws on the Bulldogs’ next possession to extend the lead to three and close an 8-0 run.

Turiaf scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half and overtime.

A Paulding 3-pointer from the right wing tied the game at 73 with 10.1 seconds left in regulation.

Freshmen dominated the first half. Kleiza scored 14 points and had seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes for the Tigers. Adam Morrison had 12 points at the break for Gonzaga. Kleiza struggled in the second, but finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds in 27 minutes for his third double-double of the season.

The Tigers struggled from the field throughout the game, shooting 27-of-79 (34 percent), including 25 percent in overtime. Paulding led the Tigers with 23 points but made 8-of-29 shots.

The Missouri defense clamped down on Gonzaga guard Blake Stepp, who was 3-of-9 from the field. He converted 7-of-8 free throws to finish with 14 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

The game, billed as the “Battle in Seattle,” was perceived as a neutral site game at Key Arena, about 275 miles west of the Bulldogs’ campus in Spokane. The crowd was decidedly pro-Gonzaga, a raucous atmosphere that Snyder said he perceived as a road contest.

Both teams struggled from the free-throw line, but Gonzaga had 14 more foul shots than the Tigers. Travon Bryant and Kleiza fouled out in regulation, and McKinney did so in overtime.

“Make no mistake about it, this was a road game and we didn’t get many breaks today,” Snyder said.

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