After the loss to Arizona, many Gonzaga fans were wondering how this team would recover from the tough loss. With a game against one of the elite programs on the West Coast, the Zags sent a message that they would be just fine, as they rolled to an 87-74 victory.
It was a typical Gonzaga performance, with multiple guys contributing on the offensive end of the court. Kyle Wiltjer had his best game of the season, scoring 24 points on 9-13 shooting from the field. Wiltjer was in an outstanding rhythm on the offensive end, scoring in a variety of ways and showing tremendous versatility. When Wiltjer plays like he did tonight, this team is nearly unstoppable. Byron Wesley continued to show why he is so valuable, scoring 20 points and grabbing nine boards. What makes Wesley so outstanding is his ability to score points without demanding numerous shots.
Despite UCLA ending up with 74 points, GU did a pretty impressive job on the defensive end as well. The defensive end of the court is the biggest difference between this team and some of the other very good Gonzaga teams from previous years. They held UCLA to 41.7% shooting from the field, and it was really some timely shooting from Bryce Alford that kept UCLA in the game.
With two home games coming up before the start of WCC play, Gonzaga has positioned itself for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament after a very successful non-conference run. Wins like this are the difference between being a 4 or 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament vs. being a 1 or 2 seed.