With the Bulldogs struggling to hang on to what once was a 22-point lead, Gonzaga center Zach Collins stuck his hand through the Northwestern rim and goaltended a Wildcat shot. The Bulldogs, who led the nation in scoring margin at 23.2 points a game, survived a long second half scoring lull and got a break when officials missed a goaltending call on freshman Zach Collins. The refs missed the call and then issued a technical to Northwestern coach Chris Collins for his reaction.
That's an automatic technical foul in any situation, but the coach really did have a reason to be upset.
Gonzaga made the pair of free throws to extend its lead to seven, which ultimately would seriously damage Northwestern's attempt at a comeback.
A spirited second-half run by Northwestern ended abruptly when a missed goaltending call resulted in a four-point swing in Gonzaga's favor. Bryant McIntosh scored 13 of his 20 points in the second half and Vic Law had 15 of his 18, as Northwestern finally found an answer for Gonzaga's quick guards and smooth-as-can-be ball movement.
And Northwestern - with solid talent returning and a coach who made history this year - will look to do that. Tillie added eight points, five boards, one block and one steal. "I just thought this is a new team and this is what we needed to do". They made a call, so we've got to live with it. We just came up a little bit too short. I feel like this is just a building block.
It was a good run while it lasted for Northwestern. It is in games and moments like these where Northwestern desperately needed Law to complete that package and find that consistency as a play-making, multi-talented individual offensive force this year.
"The guy puts his hand through the rim, " he continued.
The Wildcats were the victims of a awful non-call Saturday by officials who missed an obvious goaltending violation on a shot by center Dererk Pardon.
Gonzaga dominated the first half 38-20, but NU played inspired basketball over the final 20 minutes, outscoring Gonzaga 53-41 and almost getting within striking distance of the lead before faltering late. The Cats put themselves in a huge hole Saturday and then, instead of completely caving in, they valiantly fought back and made a game of it. Williams-Goss quickly dialed up a basket from the perimeter on the other end.
Northwestern was eliminated from the NCAA tournament in the second round on Saturday.
Painful as the late sequence was for the Wildcats, chances are it won't be the only thing about this magical season that they remember.
No. 2-seeded Arizona overcame an early 10-point deficit to defeat No. 7 Saint Mary's, 69-60, and advance to the West Regional's Sweet 16. They had been asked about their academic standards before their first-round game versus Vanderbilt - another renowned academic institution - and this week's midterm exams.
Northwestern guard Sanjay Lumpkin said the Zags remind him of Purdue due to their shooting ability and size "we face a lot with both (6-9 Caleb) Swanigan and (7-2 Isaac) Haas". It was Taphorn again on a inbound pass hit a National Basketball Association three putting Northwestern in single digits Gonzaga now holds a 9 point lead 59-50 with 8:41 remaining.