Corey Kispert led four Gonzaga players in double figures with 18 points as the sixth-ranked Bulldogs took advantage of cold-shooting No. 15 Arizona and then held on for an 84-80 victory on Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.
Filip Petrusev had 16 points and seven rebounds for Gonzaga (11-1), while Joel Ayayi added 15 points and Admon Gilder chipped in 13.
Arizona (10-2) shot 38.5 percent from the field for the game — and made just two of its first 20 3-pointers — allowing the Bulldogs to lead by 16 points with 2:12 to go. But the Wildcats responded with a furious 15-1 run that forced Ryan Woolridge to make two free throws with 1.7 seconds left to seal the win.
Arizona post player Zeke Nnaji had 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, while fellow freshman Josh Green scored a team-high 17. But star freshman point guard Nico Mannion struggled from the field, making 3 of 20 shots and missing his first nine 3-point attempts, although he did have 10 assists.
Gonzaga, which was up 35-34 at half, gained separation with a 12-0 run, started by a 3-pointer from Gilder for a 45-45 tie. Gilder added another 3-pointer during the spurt as the Bulldogs took a 54-45 lead on a fast-break layup by Kispert with 12:31 to go.
Arizona was within five before a 12-3 run pushed Gonzaga’s lead back to 69-55.
Gonzaga is 3-0 against ranked Pac-12 teams this season, also beating Oregon at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament and winning at Washington.
Arizona was up by nine twice in the first half, including at the 11:06 mark when Max Hazzard drilled a 3-pointer. The Wildcats’ poor shooting — 1 of 15 from 3-point range in the first half — helped Gonzaga climb back as the Bulldogs grabbed their first lead at 34-32 on Kispert’s 3-pointer with 1:20 to go.
Gonzaga freshman forward Anton Watson, who recently missed almost all of four games because of an ankle injury, played one minute in the first half but left with a shoulder injury and did not return. Senior big man Killian Tillie, hampered by injuries in the past two seasons, did not return after rolling his left ankle with 6:58 to go.
–Field Level Media