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Updated: Monday, December 29, 2003 2:45 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(18) Gonzaga 96, Washington St 58

SPOKANE, Washington (Ticker) -- At least Dick Bennett's team cracked the 30-point plateau. That was the only positive for Washington State.

Cory Violette scored a career-high 31 points as 18th-ranked Gonzaga rolled to a 96-58 thrashing of the outmanned Cougars.

Washington State (6-4) was coming off Monday's 46-29 loss to Fresno State in which it scored nine points in the first half. Bennett, the Cougars' first-year coach, described the performance as "incredibly bad."

He got an up-front look at the best team in the state as Gonzaga (8-2) used its inside muscle to overwhelm his beleaguered program. The 6-8 Violette displayed his inside prowess with dunks and layups that resulted in 11-of-13 shooting.

Gonzaga shot a sizzling 71 percent (34-of-48), the second highest performance in school history. The Bulldogs shot 72 percent (28-of-39) on January 13, 1996 against St. Mary's.

The NCAA record for field-goal percentage for a team with at least 30 baskets was New Mexico's 81 percent (35-of-43) performance on November 30, 1985 against Oregon State.

Randy Green's 3-pointer opened the game and gave Washington State its only lead. Gonzaga scored 24 of the next 29 points, taking a 24-8 lead on freshman Adam Morrison's basket with 9:03 left before halftime.

Gonzaga notched its fifth straight victory over Washington State.

Ronny Turiaf scored 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting for Gonzaga and Blake Stepp was the only regular who struggled with his shot. Stepp was just 1-of-5 from the floor, finished with four points and took some good-natured ribbing from his teammates.

Morrison was 8-of-9 from the floor for 17 points, reaching double figures for the ninth time. The Bulldogs also held a 31-21 rebounding edge.

Marcus Moore, who scored 42 points in Washington State's overtime loss to Gonzaga last season, managed just 13 on 6-of-16 shooting.


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