2018-19 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage
Cancer Research Classic
WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 5, 2019 -- DC Gonzaga is a staple at the Cancer Research Classic, and not only are they a yearly entrant, but Steve Turner’s team has enjoyed great success in Wheeling. On Saturday, inside WesBanco Arena, the Purple Eagles continued that trend securing a hard-fought, 56-50, victory against a very good Bishop Gorman outfit improving their record to 9-2 in their 11 trips to Wheeling. The DC-based school, in doing so, avenged one of its two CRC losses when Gonzaga fell to Bishop Gorman in 2014.
Much like most DC Catholic schools, Gonzaga showed grit and toughness, and was able to find a way to win despite poor shooting from the field (35.1%), which included only two makes in 13 attempts behind the arc.
Highly ranked junior Isaiah Cottrell, talented sophomore guard Zaon Collins, junior Braden Lamar, and sharpshooter Noah Taitz helped the Gaels take a 16-11 lead after a quarter. Seniors Anwar Gill and Josh Watts kept the Purple Eagles close, while star junior Terrance Williams struggled to get going.
The 2nd period got rolling with a made jumper from sophomore guard Will McClendon extending Gorman’s lead to 18-11. Gonzaga sophomore Malcolm Dread, the brother of Penn State freshman Myles Dread, tallied a hoop and the harm and followed with a jumper. Williams followed with a three ball to give Gonzaga the lead. Six lead changes in the remaining 3:44 of the half would follow. Williams converted two lay ups during the stretch, and Gill closed out the opening 16 minutes with a three-pointer providing Turner’s team a 28-24 advantage.
Gonzaga controlled the first four minutes of the 2nd half and took a 36-28 lead behind six points from Williams and an inside basket from Chuck Harris. However, it took just over a minute for the Gaels to regain the lead at 37-36 with 3:07 to play in the period. McClendon started the 9-0 run with a three-pointer, Collins followed with a jumper, and Taitz and Collins netted buckets in the paint.
Williams, who is being courted by several high-major D1 schools, halted the run with an inside basket and then added another with just under 2 minutes to go in the quarter. Freshman guard Devin Dinkins made 3-of-4 from the free throw line and Wade Jackson closed out the 9-2 spurt with a jumper giving the Purple Eagles a 45-39 advantage heading into the home stretch.
The final frame started out well for Bishop Gorman as Cottrell delivered in the paint for two and Taitz drained a bonus ball cutting Gonzaga’s lead to just a single point, but Williams and classmate Myles Stute responded back with baskets to stretch the lead back to five.
Collins got the Gaels within one on an old-fashion three-point play, but Grant Rice’s team wouldn’t draw any closer as Williams closed the contest with four consecutive makes from the charity stripe.
It was no surprise that Williams earned the game’s MVP with his 25-point and seven-rebound performance in front of the Wheeling crowd. Gill added 11 points, eight rebounds, and three assists before fouling out.
Collins led Bishop Gorman with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting, six rebounds, and five assists, but did have an octet of turnovers. Taitz followed with 10 points.
Gonzaga forced 19 turnovers and converted 14-of-18 freebies compared to just 2-of-6 for the Gaels.