Northwestern's suddenly swarming defense created transition opportunities on offense, before Gonzaga could set its stout interior D. After an ice-cold first 20 minutes, the Wildcats' 3-pointers finally started falling as they drilled 7 of 13 in the second half. Replays showed the officials missed the call; Collins had a legit beef.
Eventually, he'd say that he appreciated the apology. "It makes me feel great", he said deadpanned, the last part garnering laughter from writers in the crowd.
The arena, drenched in purple, was rocking, and all the momentum was in Northwestern's corner.
Contested shots, and forced looks resulted in a lot of iron for the Wildcats, who shot 30 percent from the field in the first.
Gonzaga should cruise to the final four, and once they get there, they are as explosive and as athletic as any major conference school that will be waiting. He tried to attack off the dribble, run off ball screens, curl off down screens and get free using dribble hand-offs, but nothing worked.
"I think we were down 22, cut it to five, should have been three, I guess, with the statement from the NCAA", Collins said after the NCAA's statement was read to him during his postgame session with the media.
Northwestern hanging around as forward Vic Law hit two big trae's bringing the Cats within 14, 56-42 with 11:25 remaining.
But despite the loss, Business Insider reported that Coach Drew is "proud" of his team for "fighting back" and being able to get to the point where they were "in that situation". "That led to the big deficit and we regrouped at half, we rallied together, and the performance that our guys put in the second half was some of the best basketball I've seen us play all season long". He explained that they've all been there, and when a mistake happens, the team's "going to be around me and support me and vice versa". Of course. That cuts it to three.
What a comeback it was. It was Taphorn again on a inbound pass hit a National Basketball Association three putting Northwestern in single digits Gonzaga now holds a 9 point lead 59-50 with 8:41 remaining. Dwayne Bacon led the Seminoles (26-9) with 20 points but missed all five of his 3-pointers. Gonzaga dominated the flow of the game so far.
"They thought of us as defensive players", guard Tarik Phillip said. "We weren't really anxious about (that)". He's going to ask about what I remember from that moment.
"The extremes are scooting closer to the (middle), year in and year out", Gonzaga coach Mark Few said after his top-seeded Bulldogs slowly inched away for a 66-46 victory over South Dakota State on Thursday. But he more than understood the emotion of the moment. Giddy Potts, the Blue Raiders' second-leading scorer this season at 15.8 points per game was held scoreless on 0-of-8 shooting. The win advances the Zags to the round of thirty-two where they will see Northwestern.