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Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga-Northwestern: 3 keys to the Bulldogs’ 79-73 win

The Gonzaga Bulldogs defeated the Northwestern Wildcats 79-73 on Saturday at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Here are the three keys to the Zags’ win:

Key moment

The Zags went on a 16-2 run during a ten-minute span in the first half, beginning with Nigel Williams-Goss’ floater and a 3 by Jordan Mathews. A couple minutes later Mathews drained another 3, this one from the top of the arc to give Gonzaga a 10-point lead. Johnathan Williams closed out the run with a dunk off a pass from Williams-Goss that pushed the score to 22-8. In that span, the Zags forced Northwestern into six turnovers and held the Wildcats to only one make in 12 attempts from the field.

Offensive player of the game

Williams-Goss led Gonzaga with 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting from the field. The junior guard contributed scores in several key moments, including a couple makes and an assist in a 16-2 run in the first half and made a 3 early in the second half that quieted the Wildcats and put an end to Northwestern’s 7-0 run. Williams-Goss dished out a team-high 4 assists and made 7-of-8 shots at the line.

Defensive player of the game

Zach Collins became a prominent force in the paint, blocking four Northwestern shots at the rim. His biggest swat of the game came late in the second half when the freshman center blocked a shot at the rim by Northwestern’s Scottie Lindsey. A make would have pulled the Wildcats within three points of the Zags. Collins pulled down four defensive rebounds, five total, in 21 minutes on the court.