Arizona-Gonzaga: Wildcats Break Up Bulldogs' Perfect Season

Robert RozborilContributor IDecember 15, 2008

Gonzaga entered the US Airways Center in Phoenix undefeated with all but two wins by 20 points or more.  This did not deter Arizona from giving them a run for their money.

The first half was a battle with both teams showing their defensive strength throughout while struggling to score somewhat with the tight NBA-style rim. They went to the half with Arizona up 37-36. 

Arizona's Jordan Hill racked up three fouls in the first half but didn't collect another until more than 10 minutes into the second. 

Hill had a huge second half. He brought the Arizona offense to life while maintaining an intimidating presence on defense. At one point, an FSN announcer compared Hill to Suns forward Amare Stoudemire.

The Wildcats shot out to a nine-point lead early on in the half, powered by Hill and Nic Wise. Both topped 20 points on the day. 

Gonzaga came back though and showed why they are ranked No. 4 in the country. Behind the strong play of Austin Daye, they tied the game at 62 with less than five minutes to play. 

But Arizona was not to be denied, as they held off the Bulldogs and pulled out a 69-64 victory in front of their home crowd. 

Cheers rang out from the fans, many of whom held signs dedicated to former Arizona head coach Lute Olson, who retired in October. 

Interim head coach Russ Pennell is only supposed to be keeping the seat warm until the end of the season, but after a win like this, he may have bigger ideas.