HOUSTON — Breaking down No. 2 seed Gonzaga’s 74-62 feat opposite No. 11 seed UCLA in a NCAA South Region semifinals during NRG Stadium on Friday night:
WHAT WE’LL BE TALKING ABOUT: In a grinder, a Zags took control and solemnly pulled divided in a second half to acquire their initial outing to a Elite Eight given 1999. Both teams struggled sharpened from a outward — and infrequently from anywhere — a multiple of invulnerability and a cavernous sourroundings during NRG Stadium. But a unequivocally big, really far-reaching disproportion was Gonzaga core Przemek Karnowski. The 7-1, 288-pound youth was too many inside for a Bruins to handle. Especially early in a second half, his play was essential in quenching a UCLA run and reestablishing control for a Zags.
BOX SCORE: Bulldogs 74, Bruins 62
“The players that have been here and we can feel them from all opposite a world, possibly personification in a NBA or personification abroad or operative and lifting families, they’re all behind us,” Gonzaga manager Mark Few said. “They’ve all reached out to us. They know — it’s a one fulfilment we haven’t done, we know, go to a Final Four, and now we finally have an event to do that.”
THE BIG PICTURE: Sixteen years after their Cinderella run to a Elite Eight, a Zags are back. And this bunch, that competence be a deepest and many learned given a module detonate onto a scene, has a intensity to keep going. At 35-2, Gonzaga has already set a propagandize record for wins. Even though sharpened good Friday, it didn’t matter. The Zags’ invulnerability mutilated a Bruins, who didn’t assistance themselves by blank a few open looks they got, including several layups during a vicious second-half stretch. Gonzaga’s multiple of maestro guards and a big, learned front line — along with Karnowski, beginner brazen Domantas Sabonis was effective — was many some-more than UCLA could handle. It will be a challenging problem for any opponent, including Duke during 5:05 p.m. ET on Sunday.
“The biggest thing that this win is, it allows this organisation to play together, that again is a top motivating cause we got going,” Few said. “That’s all they caring about. We get dual some-more days together guaranteed and 40 mins divided from removing a whole other week together, that I’m revelation we a approach they feel about any other and caring about any other and adore any other, that is a motivating cause right there.”
First 12 mins of UCLA-Gonzaga played like dual teams mislaid in a dim cave…which is accurately what this is…..
— Bill Plaschke (@BillPlaschke) March 27, 2015
BREAKOUT PLAYER: Karnowski is really high during 7-1. He’s got good bulk during 288 pounds. But what done him a bucket for UCLA to hoop was his learned descent moves, particularly a lethal maladroit offshoot shot. He finished with 18 points — on 8-of-11 sharpened — and 8 rebounds, and had dual assists.
“I attempted to settle myself down low and give guys support only to chuck it down low,” Karnowski said, “and we suspicion they did a good pursuit of anticipating me there, generally Kevin (Pangos), Byron (Wesley) and Kyle (Wiltjer). So, we suspicion a diversion was really physical, and we suspicion we showed that we can conflict on a potion with everyone.
KEY STAT: Bryce Alford’s 3-pointer with 2:22 left was UCLA’s initial of a game, after 8 misses. They finished 3-of-13 – though it was approach too late. The Bruins had converted 51.7 percent (15-of-29) in their initial dual NCAA contest victories, though didn’t get many open looks opposite Gonzaga’s man-to-man defense.
TOP PLAYS: Up by a dozen with only underneath 12 mins left, Karnowski got a round down low on a baseline. When he was fast double-teamed, he somehow speckled associate large male Sabonis open. Karnowski’s no-look, behind-the-back rebound pass led to a asperse and a 51-37 lead. A few mins later, Karnowski replicated a play for another easy dunk.
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