The Associated PressSALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jordan Mathews scored 16 points to help Gonzaga slowly pull away from South Dakota State for a 66-46 victory and avoid the first 1 vs. 16 upset in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
It looked possible for a while.
The Jackrabbits (18-17), champions of the Summit League, led for the first 17 minutes of Thursday’s game in the West region and stayed in range for most of the game.
They did it without a breakout game from Mike Daum. The nation’s second-leading scorer finished 7 for 16 from the floor with 17 points — more than eight below his average.
Daum did a nice job on Gonzaga’s 216-centimeter center, Przemek Karnowski, holding him to four points over the first 32 minutes. But Karnowski, who finished with 10 points, scored three straight buckets for the Bulldogs (33-1) to help them expand the lead to 20 with 5 minutes left.
Northwestern earns 1st win
SALT LAKE CITY — Northwestern got its first NCAA Tournament victory, 68-66 over Vanderbilt, after Commodores guard Matthew Fisher-Davis inexplicably grabbed Wildcats guard Bryant McIntosh on purpose, sending McIntosh to the free throw line for the go-ahead points with 15 seconds left.
Riley LaChance made a layup with 18 seconds remaining to put the ninth-seeded Commodores up by one after trailing by as many as 15.
But seconds after the in-bounds pass, Fisher-Davis reached out and grabbed McIntosh while he was in the backcourt. That put eighth-seeded Northwestern in the double bonus, and McIntosh went to the line and calmly swished the free throws with 15 seconds left.Speech