Heartbreak Hotel for #24 Gonzaga Bulldogs
It seems on the week of Whitney Houston’s passing that the University of San Francisco’s War Memorial Gym has been renovated into the Heartbreak Hotel. The average fan would excuse the San Francisco Dons (18-11, 8-7, in the WCC) if they laid an egg on Saturday.
While Gonzaga is always the West Coast Conference’s most anticipated game of the year for each team, the Dons did lose an 85-84 heart breaker on Thursday in a conference thriller at home against BYU, failing to capitalize on two open chances from 23 and 21 feet to win it on the last possession.
If anybody saw some of Houston’s funeral coverage like I did on Saturday, heartbreak was a common emotion shared by those from New Jersey to the Bay Area, where seven of Houston’s #1 hits were produced (San Rafael to be exact).
As a tribute to her, my latest Gonzaga Love ‘em & Hate ‘em topics are laced with past song titles of the late diva.
In honor of the late Whitney Houston, I’m going to help answer Gonzaga fans answer the question that Houston asked in her 1996 ballad: “Why Does It Hurt so Bad?”
Something in Common
The Bulldogs’ consistent shooting continued in San Francisco. They shot 51 percent (24-47) from the field and 83 percent (10-12) from the free throw line. Now is the perfect time to be putting up those type of shooting percentages. The other facets of their attack need help.
I’m Your Baby Tonight
Junior forward Elias Harris had a game for himself with a double-double. A 21-point 11-rebound performance is what NBA scouts expected to see from him at this point in his career when he was a one-time lottery prospect.
Gonzaga will need more of this play from Harris if they hope to make a run in the WCC and NCAA tournaments.
Same Script, Different Cast
San Francisco Dons’ juniors don’t know what it feels like to lose to Gonzaga at War Memorial Gym.
The Don’s win marked their third straight over Gonzaga at home. One game after being in the driver’s seat to win their 12th straight conference title, Gonzaga’s conference championship streak is in the hands of others, a position of vulnerability that few Bulldogs players have felt.
Don’t think for a second that other conference teams haven’t noticed.
Head Coach Rex Walters summed the WCC’s view of Gonzaga on Saturday:
“You need to understand what Gonzaga is,” Walters said. “They are a machine. They are a basketball machine and they are not a mid-major.”
Yes, Coach Walters, they are a machine, until you guys suddenly turn into the Golden State Warriors once a year when you see them in your house.
Ain’t No Way
Robert Sacre (6) produced more turnovers than an International House of Breakfast.
He played 35 minutes out of a possible 40, so it is expected that he has one or two mistakes. Ain’t no way that a six-pack is acceptable from a senior.
If you take his away, Gonzaga would have only lost the turnover battle by one (15-14).
The result likely would have been a three or four point result in their favor.