Arrow-right Camera
Gonzaga Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga-West Virginia: 3 keys to the Bulldogs’ 61-58 win

UPDATED: Fri., March 24, 2017, 12:37 a.m.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 61-58 on Thursday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Here are the three keys to the Zags’ win:

Key moment

Gonzaga guard Jordan Mathews  hits a 3-point shot over West Virginia’s Elijah Macon in the finals moments to give the Zags a lead over West Virginia in the second half of their NCAA Sweet 16 game, March 23, 2017, in San Jose, California. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Jordan Mathews hits a 3-point shot over West Virginia’s Elijah Macon in the finals moments to give the Zags a lead over West Virginia in the second half of their NCAA Sweet 16 game, March 23, 2017, in San Jose, California. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

With nearly a minute left and the Zags down by one, West Virginia’s Daxter Miles attempted two free throws and missed both. The Mountaineers grabbed the rebound and went for a layup, but Przemek Karnowski and Josh Perkins put pressure at the rim and blocked the shot. Nigel Williams-Goss grabbed the rebound and tossed it ahead to an open Jordan Mathews in the corner. Mathews collected the deflected pass and drilled his third 3 of the night to put Gonzaga ahead, 60-58.

Offensive player of the game

Gonzaga guard Jordan Mathews hits a 3-pointer to put the Zags up 60-58 during the second half an NCAA Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 23, 2017, in San Jose, California. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Jordan Mathews hits a 3-pointer to put the Zags up 60-58 during the second half an NCAA Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 23, 2017, in San Jose, California. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Mathews tied two Zags with a team-high 13 points and jumpstared Gonzaga’s offense early in the second half. The Bulldogs hit only one 3-pointer in the first half, but Mathews connected on a pair on back-to-back plays three minutes into the second half.

Mathews was fouled on the second 3-pointer and connected on the free throw, giving him seven points over two possessions and giving the Zags a 41-34 lead.

Three of his four field goals were shot from 3-point range. The final was the play of the game for the Bulldogs. Trailing 58-57, Perkins blocked a layup attempt by Nathan Adrian and the Zags quickly got the ball up the court. Williams-Goss’ pass to Mathews was deflected, but Mathews corralled it anyway and nailed a contested shot from deep to give GU the lead for good.

Defensive player of the game

Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski (24) reaches for a rebound during the second half an NCAA Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 23, 2017, in San Jose, California. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski (24) reaches for a rebound during the second half an NCAA Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 23, 2017, in San Jose, California. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Karnowski brought size and provided the majority of the pressure at the rim in his 29 minutes on the court. He assisted the Zags in holding West Virginia to only 16 points in the paint and helped limit the Mountaineers to just 27 percent (16 of 60) from the field. The senior center also pulled down five rebounds, three defensive.

Follow along with the Zags

Subscribe to our Gonzaga Basketball newsletter to stay up with the latest news.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com