The Gonzaga Bulldogs had a play drawn up with 11 seconds left, the floor of the court to run, and a game to win. An off-kilter shot by Silas Melson probably wasn't in the plan, and the Zags fell to No. 25 Texas A&M, 62-61.
Melson's desperation shot clanked off the rim, but the final play was indicative of the defensive effort by the Aggies for the whole game. Kyle Wiltjer didn't touch the ball on the final play. Przemek Karnowski didn't touch the ball on the final play. Instead, Gonzaga couldn't find a way to get the ball in down low and were left with dribbling around the perimeter of the arc.
Despite the loss, this was an entertaining game. No team was able to really pull away at all with both teams playing, for the most part, pretty solid defense. Texas A&M was able to take the lead for much of the first half with a zone defense that Gonzaga couldn't even begin to figure out.
Wiltjer was hot early, and helped offset a non-existent Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis was hassled by foul trouble and sat for much of the second half after picking up his fourth foul with close to 13 minutes left. Sabonis finished with just two points and four rebounds.
It was truly a hard fought game for the Zags. Josh Perkins had, for the most part, a fantastic game, and added 13 points in the second half. Perkins played with confidence during a spurt where he scored eight of Gonzaga's 11 points. We've known that Perkins is a good player, and have seen it in spurts, but finally got a good consistent show of it.
Again, I say Perkins played well for the most part, but he was just 1-of-5 from the line. In a one point game, that loses it. The blame isn't all on Perkins however. Gonzaga was just 4-of-11 from the line. Outside of leaving a lot of points at the free throw line, Gonzaga just couldn't get the ball in down low as much as they wanted to.
Overall, it was a solidly played game by the Zags, and once again showed that although there is a lot of promise with this team, they also have a long way to go. Gonzaga isn't going to win every game, and will probably end up losing more than we would like them to. But, if they can get it all together, this will be one of the harder outs in the NCAA Tournament.
Now, time to go prep food. Happy Thanksgiving ya'll.