No. 6 Gonzaga earns first win in McKale center, downing No. 15 Arizona 84-80
TUCSON, Ariz. — For the first time in their history, the Gonzaga Bulldogs win the McKale Center, beating Arizona 84-80 and earning their third victory over a top-25 team this season.
A 12-0 run in the second half was the key difference that helped the No. 6 Bulldogs pull away for good.
The Zags went up by as much as 15 in the second half with 2:15 to go, but Arizona got within two, with help by an 8-point run in 40 seconds.
Two free throws from Ryan Woolridge made it 84-80 with less than two seconds to go, and the Zags sealed their third victory over a top-25 team.
Corey Kispert led the way with 18 points, Filip Petrusev and Admon Gilder finished with 16 each and Joel Ayayi added 12.
Killian Tillie twisted his ankle late in the second, checked himself out of the game and went to the locker room, but returned to the bench and appeared to jump around. He did not return to the game though, and scored seven points.
Gonzaga got off to a cold start on offense, missing their first three shots and turning the ball over.
Arizona was the opposite, feeling comfortable right away at home, where they’ve won seven straight. They went inside to Zeke Nnaji frequently, who had eight points in the first 6 minutes in addition to drawing fouls on Gonzaga’s bigs.
Gonzaga was 28th in the nation when it comes to defensive rebounding, but the Wildcats were all over the offensive glass, grabbing 12 o-boards in the first half alone.
The Wildcats led by as much as 7, but the Zags cut into that lead before halftime. Corey Kispert gave them their first lead of the game with a little over a minute left, making it 34-32.
Gonzaga led 35-34 at half despite a cold shooting start and five turnovers.
They got bad news right before half, freshman Anton Watson left the game after re-injuring his shoulder. He did not return to the game.
The Wilcats caught the cold spell coming out of halftime, and Admon Gilder drilled two threes to help the Bulldogs go on a 12-0 run. Gonzaga went up 69-55 before Arizona chipped away at the lead.
The Zags get ready to host North Carolina on Wednesday, December 18th at 6pm.
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