Saturday, December 6, 2014

#3 Arizona Slides Past #9 Gonzaga in Overtime

T.J. McConnell Steals an Inbounds Pass
And Then Lays It In For An Easy Two
Everyone expected a great matchup between #3 Arizona and #9 Gonzaga tonight.  And a great matchup it was.  The top ranked teams went into overtime and fought all the way to the buzzer.  Arizona ended up winning 66-63.

In the first half Gonzaga and Arizona were trading baskets the whole time.  Brandon Ashley looked great right off the bat and scored 8 points in the first half.

Going into the locker room the game was all tied up at 27.

Gonzaga came out of halftime with a new attitude and jumped out to a great start.  But then, Arizona started to creep right back into the game.

Kaleb Tarcsewski only had 2 points in the first half, but the second 20 minutes were a different story for him.  He ended the game with 11 points and led Arizona right back into the game.

Once Arizona started to creep back in the game, Gonzaga made their own run.  They slipped the ball inside to Przemek Zarnowski multiple times.  Every time he made the right decision, he continued to read the defense well all night. The Zag's big man finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

After a great first half by Brandon Ashley, he was held scoreless in the second until there was about 5 minutes left.  That was when he had a huge block and then ran all the way back down the floor to lay the ball in for a crucial 2 points.  He brought Arizona back to tie the game up at 60-60 with around 3 minutes left.  Ashley finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds.

With 10.9 seconds left Gonzaga had the ball with the game tied at 60.  They missed their first attempt, but Arizona tipped the rebound out of bounds with 1.4 seconds left so they got one more try.  On their second chance they missed again, forcing the game to overtime.

Once the game was in overtime T.J. McConnell took over.  He scored on back to back shots to give Arizona a 64-60 lead.  The Wildcat's guard scored all 6 of their points in overtime.  He finished with 12 points, 3 steals, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.

With a few seconds left in overtime, Gonzaga was only down three and they had the ball.  Kevin Pangos missed a three point try, but the Zags got the rebounds and took another three.  Only this time they were fouled.  Byron Wesley air balled the first free throw, bricked the second, and then purposefully missed the third to try to get a rebound.  Arizona ended up grabbing the rebound along with the win against the Zags.

Although Gonzaga lost, they still put up a great fight.  Kyle Wiltjer led them in scoring with 15 points, and he also grabbed 7 rebounds.

Kevin Pangos was shut down by the Arizona Wildcat defense tonight.  Usually he leads the team in scoring, but tonight he was shut down.  He was held to only 8 points and shot 30% from the field.

With their win, Arizona improved to 8-0.  The Wildcats have seemed to struggle in games, but they always finish out strong with victories.  Tonight they held Gonzaga to a season low in points.  With their loss Gonzaga is now 7-1, but they proved they can hang with the top teams in the country.  Hopefully we get to see a rematch between these two teams in March, as shown it would certainly be one to remember.

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