The Good: Gonzaga’s women upset Rutgers to advance to the next round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Bad: The men fell to Ohio State in the round of 32, ending their season at 26-7.
The Ugly: Whatever that stuff growing on the faces of the men’s team is.
Zags don’t lose in the McCarthey Athletic Center, and that fact remained true as the 11th seeded Lady Bulldogs took down No. 6 Rutgers 86-73. It was all blue as the Zags wore their dark uniforms as the away team, despite playing in their home gym. The Scarlet Knights never really had a chance, they trailed from the first basket and no way were the Zags or the crowd going to let them back in.
GU held a 20-4 advantage 10 minutes into the game, and kept that 15+ point lead most of the game. Kayla Standish led the team in scoring with 23 points. Kelly Bowen earned a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Also in double figures was Haiden Palmer with 21 and Taelor Karr who chipped in 14 points.
For Rutgers, Erica Wheeler took over the scoring with 28 point. Khadijah Rushdan grabbed a double-double with 16 points and 11 boards. In all fairness, it was rather rude for the selection committee to send a six seed to an 11 seed’s home gym across the country. In the words of the Scarlet Knight’s head coach C. Vivian Stringer; however, “it’s the arena we play in,” indicating that wherever her game is scheduled is where her team needs to play, no matter any other circumstances, they need to step up.
Gonzaga advances to the second round of the Big Dance to face third seeded Miami. The Hurricanes defeated No. 14 Idaho State Saturday. Game time is set for 6:30pm (PST) in Spokane.
In Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon, Gonzaga came out playing tough as the men took on second seeded Ohio State. Until the last few seconds of the half, GU made a statement leading the Buckeyes. OSU took a two point advantage into the locker room at the half—they never looked back.
The Zags remained in the game, even after trailing by as much as ten in the second half, but in the end OSU avoided the huge upset with a 73-66 win. The Zags fought for the Sweet Sixteen, and brought it to a three point game with one minute to go, but things just didn’t fall their way.
By the looks of the box score, OSU should have dominated GU, as four of their starters were in double figures; however, their bench had no points. The Bulldogs added ten from the bench, keeping them that much closer—three starters were in double digits for GU.
Gary Bell Jr. led the Zags with 18 points and five assists. Elias Harris chipped in 16 points, while Kevin Pangos added 10. The Buckeye’s two big men, Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas each racked up 18 points, while Aaron Craft contributed with 17 and William Buford tossed in 13.
GU played three Big Ten teams this season, and lost all three of those games. I guess that conference just had the Zags’ number. And if nothing else comes from the loss, the nasty facial hair can disappear off the boys’ faces now that they lost.