Tag: Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gabe York
Associated Press

Strong second half propels No. 19 Arizona to win at No. 13 Gonzaga

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While neutral site games and in-season tournaments can help teams figure out who they are, there’s no test more valuable than having to do so in a hostile environment. No. 19 Arizona played its first road game Saturday afternoon, and despite trailing by as many as 14 points Sean Miller’s team found a way to beat No. 13 Gonzaga 68-63 in Spokane.

And while the Wildcats were much improved offensively in the second stanza, it was their defense and perimeter play that opened the door for a comeback.

Senior guard Gabe York led the way with 14 second-half points while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out two assists, playing the entire 20 minutes as Arizona made its charge. York scored all 14 of those points during a stretch in which Arizona outscored Gonzaga 22-10, turning a 40-28 deficit into a 50-50 tie with 12:57 remaining. The Wildcats needed someone to step forward offensively to provide a much-needed spark, and he was the one to do so.

Ryan Anderson (11 second-half points) and Allonzo Trier, who was Arizona’s best offensive player in the first half, chipped in as well, with Arizona shooting 50 percent from the field and scoring 20 points in the paint. As opposed to seemingly looking to go “shot for shot” with Gonzaga, Arizona did a better job of getting the shots that worked for them as the second half progressed which resulted in their averaging nearly 1.1 points per possession.

And for those clamoring for the Wildcats to find a “go-t0 guy,” it was York and Anderson who combined for the game-sealing pick and roll with less than 20 seconds remaining. Contrast that with the end of their loss to Providence, which had Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Dusan Ristic doing so in a sequence that resulted in a turnover. Saturday’s finish gets Arizona closer to figuring out that particular role, which will only help them down the line.

But the improved offense would not have meant anything Saturday without better play on the defensive end. Without Kaleb Tarczewski (Przemek Karnowski didn’t play for Gonzaga), who is out with a left foot injury, Arizona had to account for the absence of its best interior defender and that was an issue against Gonzaga’s tandem of Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis.

Wiltjer, who finished with 33 points, and Sabonis (18 points, 16 rebounds), combined to score 32 of Gonzaga’s 38 first half points and to no one’s surprise they were going to be an issue throughout for Anderson, Dusan Ristic and Mark Tollefsen. As a team Gonzaga averaged 0.67 points per possession in the second half, and Wiltjer needed 15 shots to score his 13 second-half points.

So how did Arizona get Gonzaga out of its comfort zone? By making the big men make challenged shots and forcing the guards, most notably Josh Perkins who committed four of his five turnovers in the second half, to make plays. Contrast that with Arizona’s two-headed point guard of Kadeem Allen and Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who combined to commit just one turnover.

The questions surrounding Gonzaga focused on their perimeter play, which is to be expected given just how much they lost from last year’s Elite Eight team. It isn’t easy to replace Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr. and Byron Wesley, which frankly goes without saying. Young players such as Perkins and Silas Melson will continue to develop for head coach Mark Few as the season wears on.

But on this day Arizona’s guards, led by York, won the matchup and that was a major factor in the final result.

Unlike last season’s team, which returned a lot of experience and had clear role definition almost from the start, this current group of Wildcats is still figuring things out and Saturday’s win doesn’t change that. But it does serve as an important result for a team looking to grow into a group capable of winning a third consecutive Pac-12 title.

Iowa State, Miami part of 2016 AdvoCare Invitational field

Jim Larranaga
Associated Press
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Friday afternoon the field for the 2016 AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando was announced, with Puerto Rico Tip-Off champion Miami being one of the eight teams involved.

Joining Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes in Orlando will be Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana State, Iowa State, Quinnipiac, Seton Hall and Stanford. Gonzaga has won the event in each of its prior two appearances, doing so in 2008 and 2012.

Each of the other seven teams will be making their first appearance at the AdvoCare Invitational.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 6 Duke, No. 12 Virginia win comfortably

Marshall Plumlee, Matt Jones, Amile Jefferson
Associated Press
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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 5 Kansas 70, No. 19 Vanderbilt 63

Wayne Selden Jr. scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Jayhawks rebounded from a early deficit to win the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. Selden played well all week in Maui, and against the Commodores he made eight of his eleven shots from the field. Fellow guard Devonte’ Graham and Frank Mason III also scored in double figures, with Graham adding 12 points and Mason ten.

Damian Jones led the way offensively for Vanderbilt with 17 points while also grabbing ten rebounds and blocking four shots, but the Commodores’ cold night from three hurt them in the end. Vanderbilt shot just 6-for-27 from three on the night, while Kansas finished 8-for-16 from distance.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

UNLV 72, No. 13 Indiana 69: The Runnin’ Rebels held off the Hoosiers in Maui, winning the fifth place game at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational and going 2-1 in the event. Patrick McCaw led the way for UNLV with 20 points, six assists and five steals, and Ben Carter’s block of a Nick Zeisloft three-pointer in the final seconds preserved the victory. Zeisloft scored 17 points and James Blackmon Jr. 13 for the Hoosiers, who went 1-2 in Maui and looked nothing like the Big Ten contender many expected them to be.

No. 14 Gonzaga 80, Washington 64: The Bulldog front court once again led the way, with Kyle Wiltjer scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a 16-point victory. Domas Sabonis added 17 points and nine rebounds, and Przemek Karnowski accounted for 12 points and six rebounds.

No. 18 Connecticut 74, Michigan 60: Daniel Hamilton led five Huskies in double figures with 16 points while also grabbing nine rebounds as UConn beat Michigan at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Caris LeVert led all scorers with 20 points, but his early foul trouble led to a major shift in momentum in the first half. The other Wolverines combined to shoot 11-for-44 from the field. Next up for UConn is old conference foe Syracuse in Thursday’s semifinals.

STARRED

Chris Boucher, Oregon: Boucher set a school record for blocks in a game with nine while also scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the Ducks’ win over Arkansas State.

Christen Cunningham, Samford: Cunningham shot 8-for-10 from three, scoring 26 points in the Bulldogs’ 75-58 win over Idaho.

Darien Nelson-Henry, Penn: In a game that included the nation’s leading scorer in La Salle’s Jordan Price, Nelson-Henry scored 31 points and grabbed 14 boards in the Quakers’ 80-64 win over the Explorers.

STRUGGLED

Anthony Lindauer, High Point: Lindauer went scoreless in the Panthers’ 49-46 loss at Georgia, missing all ten of his field goal attempts.

Amar Stukes, La Salle: Stukes shot 1-for-12 from the field in the Explorers’ Big Five loss to Penn, scoring two points.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 2 Maryland put together its most complete effort of the season to date in the title game of the Cancun Challenge, beating Rhode Island 86-63. Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon scored 17 apiece (on combined 13-for-14 shooting from the field) and Robert Carter Jr. added 15 for the Terrapins, who had five players score in double figures.
  • No. 6 Duke pulled away from preseason Ivy League favorite Yale in the second half winning by 19 in Durham. Matt Jones led four Blue Devils in double figures with 17 points.
  • No. 12 Virginia also pulled away in the second half of its game, outscoring Lehigh 45-28 over the final 20 minutes in their 80-54 win in Charlottesville. Malcolm Brogdon led the way with a game-high 23 points.
  • No. 21 Oregon moved to 5-0 with a 91-68 win over Arkansas State. Chris Boucher (17 points, nine rebounds, nine blocks) nearly tallied a triple-double, and Dwayne Benjamin scored 25 off the bench for the Ducks.
  • No. 25 Texas A&M beat Texas 84-73 at the Battle 4 Atlantis, winning the first meeting between the two programs since the Aggies moved from the Big 12 to the SEC. Danuel House scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Anthony Collins added 15, five and six assists. They’ll play Gonzaga in Thursday’s semifinals.

NOTABLES

  • Michael Gbinije scored 26 points, Trevor Cooney added 19 and freshman Tyler Lydon racked up 18, eight rebounds and six blocks at Syracuse took care of Charlotte, 83-70, at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
  • Florida rebounded from its loss to Purdue on Sunday with an 86-62 win over Vermont. Dorian Finney-Smith accounted for 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals.
  • Wake Forest beat UCLA 80-77 to earn a third-place finish at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. Devin Thomas led the Demon Deacons with 21 points and nine rebounds, with Tony Parker pacing the Bruins with 18 points and 15 rebounds.
  • Bronson Koenig led six players in double figures with 16 points as Wisconsin beat Prairie View A&M 85-67 in Madison. Ethan Happ grabbed eight rebounds and Nigel Hayes dished out seven assists for the winners.
  • Jeremy Senglin scored 23 points as Weber State beat Murray State 75-59 to win the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida. Joel Bolomboy added 15 points and ten rebounds.
  • Geoffrey Groselle scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Creighton rolled to the Men Who Speak Up Main Event title with a 97-76 win over UMass in Las Vegas. Five Bluejays scored in double figures, and as a team they shot 51 percent from the field.