Killian Tillie led the Zags with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Johnathan Williams added 10 points and 13 rebounds in the win. It was an odd game and it never seemed like it was getting out of control, but Pacific was able to stay in it with their dribble penetration offense and a whole heck of a lot of missed shots by Gonzaga.
The Zags, hopefully, got all of those missed shots out of the system for Saturday. Gonzaga shot a season low 4-of-22 from long range, many of the shots on wide open looks that just wouldn’t fall in. The guards particularly struggled with Josh Perkins going 2-of-11 and Silas Melson going 0-for-5. Both players combined to go 0-of-9 from long range.
As a team, the Zags shot just 39 percent from the floor. There were a lot of good looks that just weren’t falling in, it was one of those games. The 16 turnovers, quite a few of them rather stupid, didn’t help the cause. In fact, the only really good stat we can point to on a team level were the offensive rebounds—14 total. Corey Kispert, in particular, was a monster on the offensive glass, garnering four key rebounds during a solid stint of stagnant offense.
This game was never going to be pretty, and the Zags defense was able to do one of the better jobs of holding off Pacific’s dribble penetration offense. The Zags clamped down in the second half, holding Pacific to just 31 percent from the floor, the sort of defense that is a perfect compliment for when your own offense dies and needs to be resuscitated.
Speaking of dying and being resuscitated, glad to see that Lafayette Dorsey was able to come back into the game after his scary fall. Dorsey made contact on a fastbreak dunk-seeking Silas Melson, fell awkwardly, and then his screams of agony rang out throughout the arena, and the broadcast. It was a chilling experience that left you hoping for the best, and credit to Dorsey, he was back out and able to play.
In the end there were a total of 39 fouls called, and the two teams took a combined 49 free throws. Pacific’s game plan is hard to get away from, because the fouling helps dictate the flow of the game. Credit to Gonzaga, they never quite seemed like they were in danger of losing the game. Non-credit to Gonzaga, if just a few of those shots fall, they win by 20 instead of 10.
A better offense is going to have to show up on Saturday, or else Saint Mary’s is going to have a field day.