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10 Observations from Gonzaga’s win at Pacific

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28-2

Gonzaga v Pacific Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

This was not the most aesthetically pleasing game to watch, but Gonzaga had no problem dispatching the Pacific Tigers to move one game closer to a perfect WCC regular season. That’s a feat Gonzaga hasn’t pulled off since the 2012-13 season, which is really hard to believe.

  1. Pacific played a little faster on offense than it did during the first matchup between the two teams in Spokane. While Pacific’s strategy to burn 20 seconds off the clock before initiating its offensive sets on every possession held Gonzaga to a season low 67 points the first time around, playing that way didn’t get them anywhere so it made sense that they played a bit more uptempo (just a hair) to start the game considering they had the home crowd and it was their Senior Night.
  2. Gonzaga’s offensive execution wasn’t crisp through the first 9-10 minutes, to say the least, but I don’t think it was because they were sleepwalking through the game. Pacific should get some credit for getting their hands in passing lanes, rallying to the ball on penetration, and forcing Gonzaga to play an ugly game.
  3. Tough first half for Petrusev. This game was probably the most he’s looked like a freshman all year on the offensive end. If he’s not producing on the offensive end, there’s really no reason to have in the game at this point in his career.
  4. I can’t say enough about the spark that Geno Crandall has consistently been able to provide off the bench, particularly off the bench. Gonzaga was really plodding its way along during the first half, but Crandall’s energy was instrumental in sparking an 11-0 run.
  5. Pacific made three 3-pointers as the shot clock expired in the first half. That’s...annoying.
  6. Gonzaga’s forwards had to deal with a lot of bracketing in the post as Pacific committed a defender to fronting in order to deny Gonzaga’s entry passes while another defender was shaded behind to help and protect the direct route to the rim. Gonzaga had to adjust by changing their passing angles into the post, and then Rui and Clarke just bullied their way to the rim after catches.
  7. Corey Kispert, where’d you go?! After playing his best ball in the month of January, he had a really quiet month of February and even had two games where he played less than 20 minutes, which had not happened all season. He scored all 7 of his points in the second half, and while I fully realize he’s the 4th/5th offensive option on the floor most of the time, the Zags need him to find his mojo come tournament time.
  8. I wonder how many lookaway passes Josh Perkins has made throughout the entirety of his Gonzaga career? I don’t have the faintest idea but would love to see everyone’s wild guesses in the comments below.
  9. There was a big time disparity between the two teams with scoring in the paint. With 52 points in the paint, Gonzaga nearly outscored Pacific’s entire output just from its interior scoring. Damon Stoudamire needs to go find himself some big men.
  10. It wasn’t the greatest defensive performance of the season from Gonzaga on the perimeter. Pacific’s 12 made threes represented the Tigers best mark of the season from long distance. I’d be more outraged, but I’m just glad Gonzaga’s done playing the bottom of the WCC for the season (barring some upsets in the WCC tournament).