The NCAA gave us a lot of games on Thursday night. As the countdown toward March Madness continues, the Gonzaga Bulldogs showed one more time why they are number one in college basketball.
Aztecs Rope The Broncos
The San Diego State Aztecs snapped the eight straight wins achieved by the Number 22 Boise State Broncos on Thursday night in a tight match that was forced into overtime. Matt Mitchell, who performed incredibly, scored a total of 24 points, including four in overtime, and helped the Aztecs to beat the Broncos 78-66. That gave the Aztecs their ninth straight win. Trey Pulliam also contributed and matched his career-high with 18 for SDSU.
For the Broncos, Derrick Alston Jr. scored 22 points, just in the second half, to help bring the team back from a 17-point deficit in the first period. After Abu Kigab missed two straight shots, Alston managed to hit a step-back 3 to tie the at 58 with 1:39 to go. Both teams will finish their two-game series on Saturday afternoon.
McKinley Wright IV had a lot of motivation for the Colorado Buffaloes last night since his family was in the building for the first time in the season. He took that motivation to get a career-high 14 assists, while Jeriah Horne hit a career-best six 3-pointers on his way to 24 points. This definitely helped the Buffaloes beat the USC Trojans, 80-62. Wright also scored 15 points for the Buffaloes, who have won six straight against the Trojans.
Despite Colorado’s Dallas Walton and Evan Battey taking turns to blanket Evan Mobley, he managed to get 13 points for the USC. USC will be at Utah on Saturday, and Colorado will host UCLA on the same day.
Gonzaga Continues To Strut
There’s no actual challenge for top-ranked Gonzaga, especially when they’re playing at home and in a conference play. No. 1 Gonzaga has now achieved its 50th straight at home after beating the Santa Clara Broncos 89-75 on Thursday night. Corey Kispert and Drew Timme had a lot to do with that victory as they scored 25 and 18 points, respectively. Jalen Suggs, who nearly got a triple-double, scored 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists, while Joel Ayayi managed to add 11 points more.
The Bulldogs won their 27th straight overall dating to last season; however, they had a bit of a hard time to shake the Broncos for most of the night. For Santa Clara, Guglielmo Caruso led the scoring after getting 19 points, and Giordan Williams added 18. Just eight minutes into the game, the Broncos led 19-9 held the advantage for most of the first half before Gonzaga decided to take over the control of the game. Gonzaga is going to host Loyola Marymount on Saturday, while the Broncos’ next game is expected to come in the WCC tournament.
Spartans Have Their Eyes On The Prize
Aaron Henry put all his effort last night to help the Michigan State Spartans improve their chances of making the NCAA Tournament with a 71-67 win over the Number-4 Ohio State Buckeyes. Henry scored 18 points and Michigan State has now managed to beat top-five teams in consecutive conference games for the first time in program history. E.J. Liddell led Ohio State with 18 points, while Duane Washington scored 17 on 7 of 16 shooting. The Buckeyes head coach, Chris Holtman, said, “We had trouble finishing around the baskets.” Michigan State will play at Maryland and Ohio State will host the Hawkeyes on Sunday.
With 24 points scored by the on-fire Kofi Cockburn No.5, the Illinois Fighting Illini beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers 86-70. For the Houston Cougars, Quentin Grimes had an amazing night after scoring a career-high 33 points and 6 rebounds, helping his team defeat the short-handed Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 81-57 on Thursday night. The Iowa Hawkeyes couldn’t stop the Number-3 Michigan Wolverines after losing 79-57 in the game disputed on Thursday night.