Thornwell bottled up by Gonzaga as South Carolina's run ends

by Marta Holmes April 10, 2017, 2:44
Thornwell bottled up by Gonzaga as South Carolina's run ends

Frank Martin, Sindarius Thornwell and company put their program on the map and made them more than just a "football school". "When your point guard's good offensively, your team is good offensively. They go hand in hand".

Nigel Williams-Goss scored 23 points, Gonzaga's big men combined for 27 and the Bulldogs used some last-second strategy for a 77-73 victory over SC on Saturday in a matchup of first-time teams at the Final Four.

With just over five minutes remaining in the first half and Gonzaga leading 31-28, Chris Silva blocked a layup attempt by Przemek Karnowski and inadvertently poked the 300-pound big man in the eye.

With Karnowski back, it pushed Collins to the bench. He's, from the day one, he came in, we recruited him as a starter and then Przemy's deal happened, so it's insane. He scored 7 on 8 shots with 4 rebounds and a pair of blocks.

Thornwell had been battling the flu this week and wasn't at full strength early, and still SC had put itself in a position to win. "And we've been guarding them, their plays really well all week".

"That's my job to go to the rim and protect", Collins said.

They shot 58% in the first half, a stat that just isn't seen against SC.

Kotsar is 6-10, but gives up more than 50 pounds to Karnowski.

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Kennedy Meeks #3 of the North Carolina Tar Heels shoots against Kavell Bigby-Williams #35 of the Oregon Ducks in the first half during the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.

I'm just telling you, to beat them (74-60) in what was essentially a road game in Kansas City.

"The journey we've been on has just been unreal".

Gonzaga got in its first title game by beating SC in the other semifinal.

OR averages 78.9 points per game while the Tar Heels average 85.0 points, scoring 80 or more 26 times, 90 or more 17 times and over 100 six times. Nigel Williams-Goss is a stud, yet another player who has undergone the recent redshirt-to-All-American evolution Gonzaga has been known for as of late.

"I think the offseason was the biggest part where we felt like we had unfinished business", All-America forward Justin Jackson said. "He's a great player and we knew it wasn't going to be easy to contain him".

They have been powerful enough to take SC to its first Final Four. The Zags' counterpunch was effective in its own right, as they answered back for seven straight points to retake the lead. Silva said the run encapsulated what Martin has instilled in the team as he built it from SEC also-ran to national title contender. "The game you're playing is a game".

Thornwell, who had missed Thursday's practice with flu-like symptoms, said his illness had nothing to do with his lack of scoring.

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