Gonzaga won against Pepperdine last night. The game was close and that was because Gonzaga missed free throw after free throw.
How bad was it?
Byron Wesley, a career 67 percent shooter, went 3-of-10 from the line. Kevin Pangos, a career 84.9 percent shooter, went 2-of-4 from the line and missed two consecutive free throws late in the game. Gary Bell, a career 74.3 percent shooter, went 1-of-4 from the line.
It was an epidemic. It was laughable. With each player coming to the floor it just seemed a sure thing that the ball wouldn't roll in. Call it fatigue. Call it whatever, but Gonzaga just couldn't hit a free-throw to save its life.
But in the grand scheme of things, how bad was it really? The correct answer is -- welp, very bad. Luckily though for the Zags, it wasn't the worst free throw shooting performance of the year. That distinction belongs to Duquesne in a game against Saint Louis.
Here are the 12 worst free-throw shooting performances by teams in the past five years that attempted as many free throws as Gonzaga did last night.
|date||school||free throw attempts||FT%|
|11/11/12||San Diego State||14-of-33||42.4|
|2/22/12||Sam Houston State||16-of-39||41.0|
The funny thing is that in all of those games, five teams (including GU) pulled off the win. Alabama State went to overtime before it lost.
There isn't much of a point reading into the free throw misses last night. Gonzaga sometimes struggles from the line, but last night was more than just a struggle, it was a collective failure that happened because the stars aligned and the universe said tonight you shall fail. Give the Zags credit for being able to keep pushing past that last night, because the frustration had to be felt by the entire team.