Gonzaga put it all together to knock off Wisconsin 74-61. Read on for my unedited game story that will run in Wednesday's S-R and check back tomorrow morning for a day-after post.
LAHAINA, Hawaii – It was the kind of stat sheet that made it hard for Gonzaga men’s basketball coach Mark Few to pick out his favorite entry.
The near 50-percent shooting. The frequent trips to the free-throw line and the accuracy once they got there (21 of 25). The 38-31 edge in rebounding. The eight turnovers. The defensive work on Badgers guard Trevon Hughes, who finished with just 10 points, six under his average. Four players, and nearly a fifth, in double figures.
Maybe the 42-18 advantage in points in the paint?
“That was a very complete basketball game for us,” Few said after the Bulldogs soundly defeated Wisconsin 74-61 on Tuesday in front of a packed house of 2,400 at the
“Coach (Leon) Rice had the scout and there were three or four things we wanted to do and we did them,” Few added. “We wanted to win the battle of the boards, take care of the basketball and really defend them and make every shot tough.”
Gonzaga (4-1) will face
The Bulldogs took control midway through the first half. A 13-1 run, triggered by consecutive baskets by Steven Gray, pushed Gonzaga in front 32-19 with 6:12 left.
“We knew what they were trying to establish and their will was imposed more than ours,”
Gonzaga clicked in all areas in the opening 20 minutes. The Zags shot 50 percent (15 of 30), made their first nine free throws and committed just two turnovers. The points in the paint differential was 24-6 – and counting. Sacre and Elias Harris combined for 18 points – their total in Monday’s win over
“Coach has been on me a lot about throwing it to Rob, Will (Foster) and the other posts,” Goodson said.
GU was able to get its running game against an opponent that usually controls the pace.
“If you can get stops,” Few said, “you can always play up tempo and we did a nice job with that. This team is at its best when we’re running. We got great push from ‘Meech’ (Goodson). He was electric on a couple of those plays.”
Wisconsin (3-1) strung together six straight points, four by forward Jon Leuer, to get within 58-52, but Bouldin buried a jumper after his defender backed away. After another Leuer field goal, Bouldin fed Sacre deep in the lane. The sophomore center made a jump hook while drawing a foul. His free throw gave GU a nine-point lead.
“I just did my move, took my time,” Sacre said. “They know I’m going to try to deliver when I get the ball.”
“It’s tough to play against a team like that,” Ryan said. “They’re well coached and well drilled. They’ve got leaders out there and guys that know what to do in those situations. I think we do, too, but we weren’t the ones in the lead.”
Bouldin led GU with 18 points and five assists. Gray had 15 points and Goodson chipped in nine.
“We wanted him (Hughes) to see a bunch of eyes,” Few said. “We had our guys in help territory and they were bluffing, (so) rather than just seeing lanes to the basket, I think he was seeing a bunch of blue jerseys. And Meech did a phenomenal job.”
The Zags’ challenge tonight will be on the glass, where
“It’s going to be a heavyweight battle,” Sacre said. “Muhammad (Ali) and (Mike) Tyson, basically.”