2010 CBE Classic: Gray, Harris Step Up To Help Gonzaga Escape Kansas City With A Win

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are in Kansas City to participate in the 2010 CBE Classic Championship rounds along with the Duke, Kansas State, and Marquette. Gonzaga will face Kansas State tonight at 6:30 pm PST on ESPN2. For more on the tournament, visit the College Basketball Experience Classic website. For a game thread, visit SBN's Slipper Still Fits.

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2010 CBE Classic: Arop, Harris Step Up To Help Gonzaga Overcome A Resilient Marquette Team 66-63

Gonzaga fans will likely find plenty to work on after the Bulldogs’ performance at the CBE Classic.

However, for now they did figure out something important: despite uneven play throughout, they pulled out a 66-63 win against Marquette in the CBE Classic.

The two most important developments of the game might have been that Mangisto Arop started after getting inconsistent playing time in previous games to finish with an impressive 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting.

Gonzaga Takes Down Marquette – The Slipper Still Fits
In the first four games of the season, Mangisto Arop was largely pedestrian. Struggling to get off the bench, Manny appeared to be lost in the shuffle. Tonight, however, Arop stepped up to the plate and really led this team to a win. He finished with 15 points on 7-9 shooting and, as usual, did great work on the glass. Unofficially he had four boards but I would wager he had his hands on at least five more. What I liked from Manny is that he enforced his will on offense. Far too often he has deferred to teammates but tonight he drove to the rim, took the open jumper, and finished strong. This was easily his best game of the season and possibly his Gonzaga career. Similar to Elias, this is a game Manny must build on.

Arop tied for a team-high four offensive rebounds with Elias Harris who finished with 19 points off the bench and looked as comfortable as he had all season, pre- or post-injury.

Jimmy Butler led the way for Marquette with 22 points and a team-high five rebounds.

Click here for the box score.

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2010 CBE Classic: Gonzaga Falls To Kansas State 81-64 After Poor Second Half Shooting

The story of this Kansas State's 81-64 win over Gonzaga was somewhat simple: you could reduce it to the fact that Kansas State found ways to execute their offense for long enough stretches of time that they were able to establish a rhythm and find reasonable scoring opportunities.

The Bulldogs just struggled to do that against the KSU defense throughout the game.

And after struggle to establish anything in the first half, things took a nosedive in the second half: Gonzaga shot 23.1 percent from the field in the second half while KSU shot 50 percent. It's difficult to beat anyone like that, much less a physical team that's highly regarded by the current early season polls when you are at your best a finesse team looking for backcuts.

To their credit, Gonzaga forced KSU into 23 turnovers - that's an extremely high turnover rate of a turnover on nearly 30 percent of their possessions.

However, on the other end, one area for concern for the Bulldogs is the point guard position - Demetri Goodson started as the lead ball handler, but the team struggled out of the gate, getting down 10 to 2 quickly. After a solid first half, David Stockton struggled against KSU's pressure in the second committing three turnovers on the game. But later, Steven Gray began handling the ball more and, unfortunately, that was no more effective - Gray finished with five turnovers and struggled to get he team into the offense when he was in the position of lead ball handler instead of scorer.

For the full boxscore for the game, click here.

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