It is hard to pick just one in a game like this. You could argue any number of players, but Rick Anderson made hustle play after hustle play, the type that don't appear in the box score. Anderson did have 17 points, 11 rebounds and a pair of assists. He also had heart and toughness that you could not measure.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Again it's tough to pick just one. Tony Skinner's tip at the end of regulation and Luke Walton's leaner at the end of the first OT could both be chosen. The most spectacular play may have been a Salim Stoudamire three-pointer in the second half. Out on the wing Stoudamire started to drive, pulled back and spun like he was going to attack the basket again. Instead of advancing with the ball, he stopped and popped the three without ever really looking at the basket.
Skinner played all 50 minutes. Five Wildcats and three Bulldogs played 40 or more minutes. Gonzaga's Corey Violette played 39.
Early in the first half Jason Gardner passed Khalid Reeves for third all-time on the Wildcat scoring list. He now has 1,942 points, 97 points behind Bob Elliott.
The Wildcats are now 17-1 when Walton, Anderson, Frye, Gardner and Stoudamire start.
The Wildcats had just nine turnovers in 50 minutes. Gonzaga was not far off, turning the ball over just 11 times.
Reserve Richard Fox score 13 points, almost seven more than his season average. Playing well against good teams (all in the NCAA Tournament) is nothing new for the big man. Fox had a career high 15 twice, against Georgia and St. Joe's. He also had 17 rebounds in a game against NC State.
Both Anderson and Channing Frye played over 15:00 with four fouls. Neither fouled out.
The fans stood and applauded the players for several minutes after the game. After a tearful huddle the Gonzaga players stood and saluted their loyal fans who traveled to the game.
Gardner, Blake Stepp and Frye all said that the game was destined for ESPN Classic. Analyst Kareem Abduhl Jabaar, no stranger to great games, said it was one of the best college basketball games ever played.
BACK AND FORTH
There were seven ties and ten lead changes. Arizona shot 45.9%, Gonzaga shot 44.9%.
|TEAM REBS: 7|
TURNOVERS: 10 (C Violette 3, T Skinner 3, R Turiaf 2, Z Gourde, W Brooks)
BLOCKED SHOTS: 5 (T Skinner 3, Z Gourde 2)
STEALS: 5 (R Turiaf 2, B Stepp, T Skinner, W Brooks)
3-PT FGS: 11-30, .367 (T Skinner 5-11, W Brooks 1-2, B Stepp 4-15, K Bankhead 1-2)
|TEAM REBS: 10|
TURNOVERS: 9 (L Walton 4, J Gardner 3, S Stoudamire 2)
BLOCKED SHOTS: 4 (L Walton 2, C Frye 2)
STEALS: 7 (L Walton 3, C Frye 2, R Anderson, J Gardner)
3-PT FGS: 7-24, .292 (L Walton 1-6, R Anderson 0-2, S Stoudamire 3-10, J Gardner 2-5, A Iguodala 1-1)