The Bulldogs continue their domination in the WCC after beating the University of San Francisco 85-51 on Saturday. This effort was led by a career-high 25 points by Austin Daye; including 10 of 14 shooting, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots.
While the opening minutes of 2 for 10 shooting felt like it would be yet another Portland-type upset, the Zags rebounded with a 24-4 run. They never looked back.
You have to give Gonzaga credit for their turnaround, recovering from a three-in-a-row loss and losing four of five games before winning their last four games, including a win at Tennessee on Jan. 7 that snapped the Volunteers 37-game home win streak.
While teams in the WCC may not be your Duke or Pittsburgh, they have certainly proven problematic for Gonzaga in recent past.
Santa Clara upset the Zags on February 12, 2007, ending the Bulldogs 50-game home win streak. And San Diego created waves in last year’s WCC tournament to win the championship game against Gonzaga.
So, what can we expect for the rest of the regular season?
First, expect to see continued great defense.
The key to this year’s success lies on the defensive end. The Zags are 11th in the nation for defensive field goal percentage.
Second, expect more great games from a variety of players.
While Daye proved dominant in the last two games, there are many players who can lead the team in scoring. This will continue to prove problematic for opponents. You can’t just shut down one Zag from scoring and expect to win.
Gonzaga still has the makings of a Final Four team. However, they have some key losses early in the season that will lower their seeding in the NCAA tournament. Therefore, they will have to play well from the beginning…yet a discussion for another article…
One thing is certain: We can all look forward to continued success by the Zags in the WCC.