Postgame Analysis: Arizona vs. Gonzaga

Arizona dominated Gonzaga for forty minutes on Sunday, heading to the Sweet Sixteen with an 84-61 win over the Bulldogs. Read on to find out how Arizona did it, who the co-players of the game were, and more.

Arizona pulled away early and fought off several Gonzaga comebacks in order to advance to the Sweet Sixteen on Sunday night. The Wildcats won 84-61 over the Bulldogs in the last game of the weekend in San Diego. Here's an analysis of what happened:

Arizona Players of the Game:

Aaron Gordon – The freshman dominated the game for its entirety and Gordon finished with eighteen points in the victory. He hit eight of ten shots, including a three-pointer and made one of three free throws in the game. Gordon also had six rebounds and six assists in the victory.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – No player was more instrumental to Arizona's early breakaway than Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. He had plenty of early points, steals, and big plays. The freshman forward was also a perfect eight-for-eight from the free throw line on the night, finishing with 18 points and five rebounds. Hollis-Jefferson also added five assists of his own in the win and had four blocks, half of Arizona's eight.

Key Moments:

  • The game was still young and Arizona clung to just a five point lead at 16-11 with 14:26 left in the first half. That changed with a 6-0 run by the Wildcats, all by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. He had a layup and four straight free throws, giving Arizona an eleven-point lead.

  • Just when it seemed like Arizona would run away with the game, the Bulldogs got things clicking. Gonzaga used a 7-0 run to cut the lead to just fourteen as the half was winding down. Arizona answered with a Hollis-Jefferson dunk, but the Bulldogs were able to cut the lead down to 13 at halftime.

  • With just under ten minutes to go in the game, Johnson grabbed a defensive rebound off a miss by Sam Dower and went coast to coast for a layup that put the Wildcats up by 23, their largest lead of the night.

    Stats of the Night:

    31: Arizona was able to jump out to an early lead mainly because of its defense. The Wildcats forced 11 turnovers in the first half and scored 19 points off of them. Easy transition buckets are what Arizona excels at and it really propelled the Wildcats to a big lead that was too much to come back from. Arizona forced 21 turnovers in the game and finished with 31 points off of them.

    General Thoughts: Arizona rebounded from a less-than-stellar performance with one of the better performances of the season on Sunday. The Wildcats dominated from nearly the opening tip and it wasn't even close. Gonzaga struggled to hold onto the ball and struggled to shoot, hitting shots at 10 percent less than its season average.

    Aaron Gordon entered the game with 273 rebounds this season, just five short of Bob Elliott's freshman rebounding record of 278. Gordon finished the game with six rebounds, breaking the record by one. The record-breaking rebound came as the Wildcats were making the final run in the second half. The freshman rose above the crowd, grabbing an offensive rebound and slamming it back home.

    Sean Miller Quotable:

    "For us, the turnovers ignited our transition and we're always at our best when we can use our defense to our offense and tonight we scored as many points in that area as we have all season long," Miller said.

    Wildcat Quotable:

    "The thing that is special about this team is we're capable of running a half-court offense and pushing the tempo," Gordon said.

    "What we did today was just push the tempo. We noticed that they weren't getting back as well as they should have and we kept that going throughout the entire game."

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