No. 4 Villanova dominates Gonzaga at Madison Square Garden

John Smallwood, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Basketball

Villanova led by 43-30 at the half, and, with 11 1/2 minutes remaining, Bridges went to work.

The junior curled in a layup off a sweet drive and buried a trey after a Zags basket. The 6-foot-7 Bridges then blocked a shot by 6-11 Jacob Larsen, which led to a cheetah-fast break and a driving basket from Brunson.

In a little more than a minute, the Wildcats were up, 60-48. 'Nova had regained control of the game and never lost a double-digit advantage, even after Brunson went to bench with his fourth foul with 9:05 remaining.

This was a well-planned dissection. For most of the season, Gonzaga has struggled with defending dribble penetration. After missing jumpers on their first two possessions, the Wildcats sent Brunson driving hard to the basket.

Brunson missed two layups, but the ease with which he got to the rim told the Wildcats all they needed to know.


Including a couple of charging calls and times that Villanova players were fouled, the Wildcats had 16 shots within two feet of the basket. Had they not missed six out of 11 layups, the Wildcats would have led by a lot more than 13 after the first 20 minutes.

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