Gonzaga’s season has come to an end with a 75-69 defeat to Texas Tech. In a battle of the best offense against the best defense, it was Texas Tech’s swarming defense that won the battle in the second half.
Gonzaga led 37-35 at halftime and shot 50 percent, but were plagued by turnovers the entire night. They had nine in the first half and 16 for the game. Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke scored 23 in the first half, and Gonzaga generally had some success pounding the ball inside.
In the second half, seemingly everything inside turned into a missed shot or a turnover thanks to the scrappy hands of Red Raider defenders. Gonzaga had no flow and went 7-for-26 from deep, including a 2-for-9 performance from Zach Norvell. Gonzaga had multiple wide open threes that they could not knock down in each half.
On the other end, Texas Tech’s offense was hot. It has been hot for the final six weeks of the season, and it continued tonight. They got a huge game from Matt Mooney and two enormous threes Davide Moretti in the final few minutes to take over the game.
Gonzaga had a last chance gasp after a Josh Perkins’ three cut the lead to two, but a technical foul on an inbounds play with 10 seconds to play ended the game.
We will have more content to recap the season as the days go on, but this obviously hurts. This team had all the pieces to win a National Championship. They ran into a grind of a region, and could not solve the enigma of Texas Tech’s defense in the second half.
For now, we mourn. I’m sure in time, we will look back fondly on a lot of things this season provided us. It’s the end of the Josh Perkins’ era. An era that spanned five years, all of them advancing to at least the second weekend. Assuming Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke leave for the NBA, Gonzaga is going to look very, very different next season. The last five years have been the glory years of Gonzaga basketball. They launched themselves into the upper echelon of college basketball programs. This team was fun to watch and it’s a shame it ended in tears.
Go Zags forever.