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San Francisco’s plan to ruin Gonzaga’s Saturday night falls a bit short

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The Dons pushed Gonzaga to the brink, and the Zags held on.

NCAA Basketball: San Francisco at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

There seems to be a reason that a lot of us here are frightened of San Francisco. Much of it comes from past trauma, and other instances, like tonight, give us the reason for pause. Gonzaga had to dig in deep and hold off a furious rally from San Francisco, going home with a 82-73 win that was closer than the final score suggests.

Johnathan Williams and Killian Tillie each led the Zags with 13 points. Silas Melson, Josh Perkins, and Rui Hachimura each finished with double-figures. In that regard, Gonzaga seemed alright. But the real story of the game is the near six-minute drought that turned an 18-point lead into basically nothing.

The Zags couldn’t find much to hit from downtown, only shooting 7-of-22 from long range. San Francisco was able to drain their long shots, shooting 50 percent from afar to keep cutting it closer and closer. It wasn’t until the final couple of minutes that the Zags were really able to lock the game in, and even then it involved a few wild possessions and some key defensive stops.

Frankie Ferrari and Jordan Ratinho led the Dons with 15 points a piece, but it wasn’t enough offense for the Dons to truly push past. The story of the game was the free throw discrepancy. Gonzaga shot 23 free throws compared to San Francisco’s 11. The Zags hit 83 percent of those, giving themselves the boost they needed on offense.

The internet is shoddy at the place I’m at right now, so I’ll have to keep it short and sweet. Gonzaga came away with a hard fought win, which was good to see. San Francisco’s defense is one of the better ones in the league, and they did its best to make Gonzaga’s life complicated. Luckily, things didn’t get too complicated.