PHOENIX -- - The Gonzaga Bulldogs have extended the greatest season in program history as they try to win their first national championship in men's basketball.
Freshman Zach Collins delivered 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks in 23 minutes as Gonzaga knocked off South Carolina, 77-73 in Glendale, Arizona. Collins was outstanding down the stretch despite playing with four fouls.
“Super impressed. To come out here in a national semi-final game and to get his first double-double to go along with six blocks is just huge. I couldn’t be more happy for Zach,” said Nigel Williams-Goss.
Williams-Goss scored a game-high 23 points for the Bulldogs, who will carry a 37-1 record into Monday's title game against North Carolina. He said he is ready for the challenge ahead.
“As soon as that buzzer hit I knew what was at stake, I knew what we now have the opportunity to do and I couldn’t be more excited,” he said.
Jordan Mathews commented after the game that the win was a team effort and they are closer now more than ever.
“We all kind of came together. My first day in Spokane, I kind of felt like I was on the team for a year already because the guys are so welcoming,” Mathews said. “We have so many different cultures but we have great guys.”
Mathews post game: pic.twitter.com/FolRlmGCIN— Evan Closky (@KREMEvan) April 2, 2017
When the game got close, Few told the team not to hesitate and just play ball.
“That’s what we’re best at, that’s what we do,” said Mathews.
Johnathan Williams said going to the championship game is a blessing.
“I just gotta thank the man above. I gotta thank my brothers for putting a bunch of hard work in all season long. I’m just extremely blessed,” he said.
The Zags will take on North Carolina at 6:20 p.m. Monday on KREM 2.
The Associated Press contributed to this report