Thu, Mar 10, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Scrutiny surprises NY's Isiah Thomas

AMERICAN BASKETBALL When you become manager of the Yankees, coach the Giants or president of the Knicks, you've essentially agreed to walk against traffic

NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , NEW YORKAP, PHILADELPHIAREUTERS, SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA

The Bulldogs, which triumphed over SMC in the championship game last year, earned an automatic berth into the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Ronny Turiaf added 18 points, 14 boards and four blocked shots, while Derek Raivio recorded 16 points for the Zags, who have won 12 straight games.

Leading the second-seeded Gaels (25-8,) who could still earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, was Daniel Kickert with 27 points on 8-of-17 shooting, including 7-of-13 from three-point distance.

Paul Marigney added 20 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

The Zags zipped to a 5-0 lead before Kickert hit three consecutive three-pointers to give SMC a 9-5 advantage en route to a 23-14 lead 7 1/2 minutes into the first half.

Gonzaga closed the first half on a 13-6 run and went into the locker room trailing 35-34.

The Zags came out of the break on a 17-5 run to take a 51-40 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game.

SMC trimmed the deficit to six points, but that would be as close as the Gaels would come.

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