Thursday, March 19, 2009
Zags zip past Akron with decisive run
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Gonzaga coach Mark Few just produced what might become the best description of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
That neologism is how Few described his team -- after briefly drawing a blank -- when reporters asked him for his take on the Zags decisive 19-1 run in the second half of their 77-64 victory over Akron.
Few's point is his team, sometimes viewed as a scrappy, disciplined bunch, can go nuts in transition, score points in bunches and transform a game quickly.
Gonzaga's spurtability transformed a 52-51 deficit into a blowout in its favor. Forward Josh Heytvelt scored 10 of his game-high 22 points during the decisive blitz and he drew an offensive foul that would have made an Italian soccer player blush.
The Zips led most of the way in a game that saw neither team lead by more than six until the Zags decisive run. They hit eight of their first 13 3-pointers before going cold and connecting on just two of their final 10 behind the stripe.
The Bulldogs hit 11 of 19 from the field in the second half and committed just four turnovers, their superior size and athletic ability eventually wearing down the Zips.
Gonzaga now awaits the winner of the final game of the first round, No. 5 Illinois vs. No. 12 Western Kentucky.