Missed Lay-Ups Leash Bulldogs from Sweet 16
For 38 minutes, the game lived up to its billing. In the first half the game was close as the Buckeyes took a 39-37 lead into halftime.
The Buckeyes perimeter wore down the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Ohio State led by as many as 10 with 10 minutes left in the game.
Down the stretch, Gonzaga clawed their way into the game cutting the lead to two with less than three minutes to go, but a missed lay-up by freshman guard Kevin Pangos that could have tied the game with less than two minutes sealed Gonzaga’s fate as they lost 73-66.
1). Minimized Sullinger Early
The Bulldogs forced Ohio State All-American Jared Sullinger to the bench with two fouls with9:12 remaining in the first half.
Ohio State’s leading rebounder and scorer was a non-factor throughout most of the game until the last three minutes as he hit a couple of baskets and a pair of free throws down the stretch to halt Gonzaga’s comeback and seal the game for the Buckeyes.
Sulllinger finished with 18 points, but only four rebounds.
2). Sam Dower
The sophomore forward crashed the glass early for Gonzaga, securing four offensive rebounds in the first ten minutes of the game, which ultimately led to Sullinger’s forced departure.
Dower scored all nine of points in the half to go along with his rebounding prowess off the bench.
3). David Stockton’s Energy
Sophomore guard David Stockton’s defensive stretch on Ohio State guard Aaron Craft late in the second half was paramount to Gonzaga’s ability to hang around in the second half of the ball game.
Stockton was able to track down loose balls and act a general nuisance for Ohio State’s backcourt.
1). Unnecessary Fouls
Senior center Robert Sacre picked up his second foul 40 feet from the basket with 5:52 left, which hampered Gonzaga from taking complete advantage of Sullinger’s absence.
There were a number of fouls committed on the perimeter which had no bearing on Ohio State’s perimeter players’ ability to penetrate. A foul made, seemingly in frustration, 80 feet from the basket after a missed shot provided the Buckeyes with a one-and-one opportunity which allowed them to push the lead to three.
Gonzaga would not get any closer.
2). Not So Craft-y Defense
Gonzaga made Craft (8.6 points per game) look like an All-American, giving up 10 points to him in the first half. With Sullinger’s early departure,Ohio State should have been on the ropes, not down by two points.
Craft finished the game with 17 points and 10 assists
3). Pangos’ Early Shooting Woes
In only his second tournament game, freshman guard Kevin Pangos struggled from the field, going 2-8 in the first half.
The guard was saved by balanced scoring in the first stanza, led by Dower. In the second, Pangos continued to struggle in the second half missing open lay-ups and three-point attempts which could have tied the game with less than two minutes to go.
His 3-13 shooting performance was a key reason why Gonzaga lost the game.
4). Missed Opportunities
Gonzaga will look at this game as one that got away. The Bulldogs had plenty of opportunities to tie the game in the final three minutes through free throws, layups, and offensive rebounds but failed to capitalize on them.
Ohio State did not show that they were the better team, but rather took advantage of the situations that were in front of them.
The second-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes made their will face the winner of tomorrow’s match-up featuring Cincinnati and Florida State in Boston on Thursday.