PHOENIX, Ariz. --- After losing to North Carolina, the Gonzaga basketball team reflected on why they lost.
After a game riddled with fouls, 22 fouls for each team, Gonzaga players reflected on what happened during the game.
Zach Collins struggled with foul trouble and was eventually disqualified after his fifth foul with 5 minutes left in the second half.
“We fouled too much, couldn’t play regular line ups and I’m just sad that I couldn’t be able to help them,” Collins said.
Collins also said that he has been taught not to use his hands, but he still used them during the game, which led to so many fouls.
Many of those fouls came from an aggressive game.
“We were ready for it, but it makes it a lot more difficult when they come out more aggressive than you” Silas Melson said. “We weren’t the aggressors in the first half and that kind of just started off that got us into foul trouble and it’s like a chain reaction when your guards aren’t aggressive as they need to be.”
One of the most talked about moments was when Nigel Williams-Goss rolled his ankle during the last two minutes of the game. Williams-Goss said that it was the same ankle that he hurt during the previous game with South Carolina.
When players were asked if the ankle roll impacted the game, everyone disagreed.
“I think he was in the zone, I don’t think that affected him at all,” Collins said.
Przemek Karnowski was asked during the final press conference what he will remember during his last game as a college athlete. “I missed a lot of layups,” Karnowski said. “I don’t know. It wasn’t my best game. We threw the ball into the post and I didn’t deliver. So I’ll probably remember that.
Coach Mark Few reflected on the game and what went wrong.
“We were negotiating our way through massive foul issues, ones that we haven’t had all year, it was not looking good with about 10 to go there,” Few said. “We’ve been great on defense all year and we just didn’t finish off that possession we needed to come off of that rebound.”
Few also had many good things to say about University of North Carolina’s play during the game.
“First of all, they were excellent tonight defensively, they disrupted us, they climbed up into us, drove our offense outside the normal area,” Few said.
Few said that UNC’s team was a mirror of Gonzaga’s team. “I think it’s the first time all year that we’ve been outshot,” Few said.
Many fans and viewers were upset by the call that the referees made during the game, but that did not seem to faze Gonzaga’s team.
“Those were three of the best officials in the entire country, NBA, college or anything. I thought they did a great job, these are two heavy weight teams going at it inside, playing really, really physical basketball,” Few said.
“I’m not going to talk about refs. It was just a physical game,” said Karnowski after he was asked about calls the referees made.
While Gonzaga lost, all of the players had similar things to say.
“Although we didn’t meet our goal, you can’t tell us that we didn’t have a great year,” said Melson.
The Gonzaga men’s basketball team made history by making it to the NCAA championship tournament for the first time in history.