SALT LAKE CITY – South Dakota State held the Zags to one of their lowest shooting percentages from 3-point range this season.
Gonzaga finished 26.7 percent (8 of 30) from beyond the arc on Thursday in a 66-46 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Zags closed out the first half with only to makes from 3-point range, one by Jordan Mathews and another by Zach Collins. They hit less than 15 percent of their attempts, missing 12 shots form distance.
“We’re all 40 percent 3-point shooters, so it’s not like we’re not confident in the shot,” junior guard Silas Melson said. “We’re going to keep shooting them and we’re going to get our rhythm.”
After intermission, the Zags dropped six more 3s, half of them by sophomore guard Josh Perkins. Melson added another 3 and Mathews hit two more. Mathews finished 3 of 9 from beyond the arc.
“We’re not worried about missed shots. We never worry about missed shots, because we know we put in the time and hours upon hours in the gym to make them go in,” Collins said. “That’s what happened in the second half – we got the same looks we got in the first half, they just went in.”
The Zags shot worse on 3s in only three other games this season. Gonzaga’s lowest shooting percentage at the 3-point line was against BYU in GU’s regular-season finale. In that game, the Zags shot 18.8 percent (3 of 16) from beyond the arc.
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