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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga-North Carolina: 3 keys to the Bulldogs’ 94-81 victory over the Tar Heels

Dec. 18, 2019 Updated Wed., Dec. 18, 2019 at 10:16 p.m.

Offensive MVP

Corey Kispert came up two points shy of his career high, but his 26-point effort against UNC could easily be considered the finest game of his career. Kispert drilled five 3-pointers, including his last four, and hit 10 of 12 field-goal attempts. He had 16 points at intermission as GU took a 44-37 lead.

Defensive MVP

Kispert deserves mention here, but we’ll go with Joel Ayayi. The 6-foot-5 sophomore admitted to losing track of shooters a few times, but he filled the stat sheet again with a team-high three steals, 10 rebounds, 11 points and six assists. The 10 rebounds were especially important against UNC, one of the top rebounding teams in the nation. No other Zag had more than four boards.

Key moment

Gonzaga seemed poised to pull away on a couple of occasions, but got serious about it in the second half. GU’s 14-point lead late in the first half was down to 44-39 when Filip Petrusev worked inside for a three-point play and Kispert drilled yet another 3-pointer. The Zags’ 16-3 run extended their lead to 60-42.

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