"As much as we deserved the fans flying out here and giving us as much love as they did, they deserve just as much credit as we do", Law said. "We were that team one day".
With about four minutes left of playing time in Saturday's game between Northwestern and Gonzaga the wildcats were gaining quickly. One of their biggest victories of the season came against a formidable foe in a hostile environment, as they went into Wisconsin and pulled off a much-ballyhooed upset against the top-ten ranked Badgers during Big Ten action this season.
It looked like they were going to make another basket, Derek Pardon's dunk attempt was blocked by Gonzaga player Zach Collins. It made for a dramatic final 10 minutes, which included a pivotal technical called on coach Chris Collins for arguing after a blatantly missed goaltending call.
He said this about an hour after, early in the second half, the former National Basketball Association player and coach and U.S. Olympian Doug Collins, from the first row, kindly had advised one of the officials that this would be that official's last NCAA game.
"I guess you're supposed to be (nervous) but I had no choice", said Collins, who scored GU's last six points in a 73-71 win over Iowa State in the AdvoCare Invitational title game in Orlando. It the end of their dream season but the Wildcats didn't go down without a fight.
"We played desperate, " McIntosh said. Bryant McIntosh led Northwestern with 7 pts and Nigel Williams - Goss 14 pts for Gonzaga. The team arrived home early Sunday morning, just hours after the game ended and while they may have lost, they still have plenty to be hopeful about looking to the future.
"Now I'll never have negative memories in this building", Bakamus said. "We had all the pieces to be special".
"I just tried to make a play", Mathews said. "But as the media's seen I've been pretty emotional the last couple weeks".
Things changed once those outside shots started falling in the second half. The Bulldogs, who led the nation in scoring margin at 23.2 points a game, survived a long second half scoring lull and got a break when officials missed a goaltending call on freshman Zach Collins.
After the game, Gonzaga center Collins was still unclear about what, exactly, happened. Again, Collins has to know better than to put himself in position to draw a technical foul then, but he wouldn't have been in that position had the officials just made the right call!
"I wouldn't put it all on the technical", Few said.
The play was big, but so were several other moments in the game, Few said.
Chicago Sun-Times reporter Steve Greenberg says the boy, 11-year-old John, is Northwestern Athletic Director Jim Phillips' son. "I wouldn't put it all on this technical". "It's hard to come back from 22 points, especially against a great team like Gonzaga".
Like he had successfully against so many defenders before this season, Williams-Goss accepted the challenge and tried to take matters into his own hands. McIntosh (13) and Law (15) combined for 28 second-half points to ignite the Wildcats' comeback.
QUEST FOR RESPECT: Though they're focused on Gonzaga, Northwestern players say they've found some motivation thanks to the story line surrounding the odd finish in their win over Vanderbilt. It kept the Wildcats from getting dialed in on the perimeter. Collins followed by driving to the rim and converting 3-point plays on back-to-back possessions to give Gonzaga a 53-34 lead.
Northwestern was held scoreless from the 16:16 to 10:30 marks of the first half.
- Northwestern outscored Gonzaga 17-3 in points off turnovers after halftime.