Oscar Tshiebwe shines but Gonzaga stomps Wildcats, 88-72


No. 2 Gonzaga versus No. 4 Kentucky was supposed to be decided by National Player of the Year frontrunners Drew Timme and Oscar Tshiebwe. The stars absolutely shone. Timme had 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal. Tshiebwe countered with 20 points, 15 rebounds and two steals. Call it a wash between college basketball’s two titans. But Gonzaga’s role players proved to be the difference in the game in the Zags’ impressive 88-72 win.

Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther teamed up to knock down seven 3-pointers and finished with 44 combined points. Strawther added 14 rebounds. Meanwhile, Kentucky’s putrid offense missed eight layups, two dunks, all 10 3-pointers and averaged just 0.676 points per possession in a dreadful first half. Gonzaga led 41-25 at intermission.

Kentucky did mount a serious comeback in the opening segment of the second half. An Antonio Reeves 3-pointer sliced ​​Gonzaga’s lead down to 49-45 with 13:07 left. But foul trouble for Tshiebwe gave Gonzaga the inch of space it needed to pull away.

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Here are the player grades for each Kentucky player that earned playing time:


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