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Updated: Sunday, December 21, 2003 12:39 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(11) Stanford 87, (15) Gonzaga 80

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Matt Lottich was feeling it and he let Blake Stepp know about it.

Lottich drained six 3-pointers and poured in a career-high 34 points as No. 11 Stanford withstood a late surge for an 87-80 victory over Stepp and No. 15 Gonzaga in the Pete Newell Challenge.

Lottich was on fire throughout, pumping in jumper after jumper. After one long 3-pointer, he exchanged some good-natured words with Stepp, Gonzaga's point guard and another prolific 3-point shooter.

"I really got into a rhythm," said Lottich, who was 12-of-17 from the floor. "Chris Hernandez found me (and) the ball was going down for me."

Stanford (7-0) took a 59-43 lead as Lottich did all the scoring with 3-pointers in a 9-1 run. The Cardinal were still ahead, 75-65, after Lottich's layup with close to 90 seconds left.

Gonzaga (7-2) did not quit as it continued to bury 3-pointers. Freshman Adam Morrison, who scored 20 points, nailed one to cut the deficit to 79-74 with 45 seconds to go.

Lottich made a pair from the line and fed Justin Davis for an alley-oop slam for a nine-point cushion with 26 seconds remaining, helping offset a pair of meaningless 3-pointers by Morrison in the final 22 seconds.

"We knew they would come at us in the second half, and they did," Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. "That's when Matt stepped up and started making a lot of plays."

Stanford pounded the ball inside to Justin Davis and Rob Little, who combined for 20 of their 30 points in the first half. Gonzaga had no answer, since leading scorer Ronny Turiaf picked up three first-half fouls and finished with only 10 points in 24 minutes.

The Bulldogs shot only 35.5 percent (11-of-31) in the first half. Davis' dunk beat the buzzer for a 39-27 cushion at intermission. He opened the second half with an easy bucket.

"The post guys early set the tone," Montgomery said. "Justin and Rob set the tone and it took a little bit out of them."

Gonzaga fired away to the tune of 53 percent shooting from the arc (9-of-17) in the second half to stick close. Morrison and Kyle Bankhead combined to make 7-of-9 3-pointers.

"All the credit goes to Stanford, they wanted the game more and they played more aggressively," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "They outcompeted us."

Hernandez, the Cardinal's point guard, returned after missing a pair of games with back spasms and contributed nine points and four assists.

The win was Stanford's second in as many years over Gonzaga at the Newell Challenge.


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