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Gonzaga-Villanova: 3 keys to the Wildcats’ 88-72 win

Villanova guard Mikal Bridges (25) dunks the ball against Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie, left, and center Jacob Larsen (14) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in New York. (Julie Jacobson / Associated Press)
Villanova guard Mikal Bridges (25) dunks the ball against Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie, left, and center Jacob Larsen (14) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in New York. (Julie Jacobson / Associated Press)

Key moment

Naturally, Villanova junior forward Mikal Bridges was in the middle of it. After the Zags closed within 53-46, Bridges drove for a bucket inside and then drained a 3-pointer. He also swatted a shot, leading to a Jalen Brunson layup in transition and a 60-48 lead. If that wasn’t enough, Bridges’ drive and dunk on two Zags pushed the lead to 66-51 and brought the Garden crowd to its feet.

Offensive player of the game

Junior forward Mikal Bridges hurt Gonzaga off the dribble and beyond the 3-point line. He poured in a career-high 28 points, 16 in the second half when several of his baskets stymied Gonzaga rallies. He made 8 of 14 shots, including 5 of 9 from beyond the 3-point line.

Defensive player of the game

Mikal Bridges was outstanding at the defensive end, too. He had a pair of blocks, one on Killian Tillie that helped fuel a key 7-2 run in the second half. Bridges finished with two blocks, one steal and six rebounds, five on the defensive end.


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