WCAC Boys' Basketball

No. 4 Gonzaga Tops No. 2 DeMatha in Boys' Basketball

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By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 22, 2009

The gym was packed more than an hour before tip-off last night for what fourth-ranked Gonzaga considered its most important semester exam. And after a series of terrific individual performances added up to an impressive team victory, the Eagles were ready to give themselves a collective A.

Center Ian Hummer scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and junior guards Tyler Thornton and Cedrick Lindsay shook off a rough first half to chip in with several key baskets. And Gonzaga rolled to an 86-76 victory over second-ranked DeMatha in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference game in Northwest Washington.

Lindsay made a pair of critical three-pointers from well behind the arc in the third quarter and finished with 21 points. Thornton, who has committed to play for Duke, tallied 14 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals as the Eagles (16-2, 7-1) earned their ninth consecutive victory. The two combined for 27 of their 35 points in the second half as Gonzaga erased a five-point deficit.

"This just shows that we're still on top of our game even though we lost a couple key players from last year" said the Princeton-bound Hummer, referring to the 2008 City Title champions who finished 34-1. "We're still on top of our conference and the area."

Naji Hibbert scored 18 points to lead DeMatha (14-2, 6-1).

The Stags led 33-28 at halftime, but Gonzaga scored the first nine points of the third quarter and never trailed again. Lindsay drove and passed to Hummer for one basket, then Hummer grabbed one of his five offensive rebounds and scored. Thornton tipped in a miss and later passed to Lindsay for a three-pointer from left of the top of the key for a 37-33 lead. Thornton had assists on the Eagles' next three possessions as well.

It was 56-52 after three quarters before Gonzaga pulled away. Lindsay drove for a three-point play and after a steal and putback by Hummer, the Eagles had a 63-52 lead. Last week, Hummer excelled against Bishop McNamara standout center Talib Zanna; last night, he took advantage of being guarded by inexperienced opponents.

"He's strong and plays under control," DeMatha Coach Mike Jones said. "It's amazing he can get that many points around the rim, but that's what he does. He's relentless. He's a very good player, but it's not like anybody didn't already know that."

No. 4 Gonzaga 86 No. 2 DeMatha 76 An A+ From the Line: Gonzaga made all 21 of its free throw attempts, including 14 in the fourth quarter. The Eagles entered the game shooting a collective 67.7 percent from the line. Right Back at It: DeMatha will host sixth-ranked O'Connell tomorrow.


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