Coming into the season, this game between Gonzaga and UCLA was arguably the most anticipated non-conference matchup of the NCAA Basketball season. The last time these teams met, it was an instant classic at the Final Four that ended with a Jalen Suggs halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime.
There was some hope that the game last night would be close in terms of excitement and closeness. But unfortunately, that ended fairly early, as the Bulldogs stretched out to an early 16-6 lead after some transition three-pointers a few minutes in, before stretching it out even further to 29-8 midway through the first quarter.
It was a mix of elite offense from Gonzaga and dreadful shooting from the field for UCLA in the first half that all but ended any hope of this being a competitive matchup. The No. 1 team in the country was up by 20 points at halftime and coasted in the final 20 minutes to win the game, 83-63.
All five starters for Gonzaga had at least nine points in this game, led by 24 points on 9/13 from the field from Andrew Nembhard. Jaime Jazuez Jr. had 19 to lead the Bruins but did so on an inefficient 7/22 from the field.
Although UCLA didn’t have Cody Riley for this game, one clear takeaway from this battle is that the Gonzaga Bulldogs are the undisputed No. 1 team in the country, until they at least take on Duke on Friday. But what else did we get from the 40 minutes played between these programs? Here are my top three.