Blown call, untimely 'T' end Northwestern rally; Gonzaga wins 79-73

Blown call, untimely 'T' end Northwestern rally; Gonzaga wins 79-73

March 18th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Sports
Northwestern head coach Chris Collins shouts to his team during the first half of a second-round college basketball game against Gonzaga in the men's NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Northwestern head coach Chris Collins shouts to his...

Photo by The Associated Press/Times Free Press.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Top-seeded Gonzaga fought off a wild Northwestern comeback for a 79-73 victory Saturday night with help from an untimely technical foul on Wildcats coach Chris Collins.

Northwestern trimmed a 22-point deficit to five and had the ball when Gonzaga's Zach Collins reached up through the basket to reject Dererk Pardon's shot with 4:54 left.

There was no call, and Collins, jawing with the officials all day, ran onto the court and was slapped with a technical foul.

NCAA spokesman David Worlock released a statement Saturday saying that the officials missed the call.

Gonzaga's Zach Collins put his arm through the rim to block a shot, which the NCAA says should have been called basket interference. Replays showed Collins violated the rule and that Northwestern should have been awarded the bucket.

Three seconds later, Northwestern coach Chris Collins was given the technical foul for coming on to the floor to argue while the ball was in play.

Nigel Williams-Goss made both free throws, and eighth-seeded Northwestern (24-12), in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, never got closer.

Williams-Goss led the Zags (34-1) with 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Collins and Jordan Mathews had 14 points each.

Bryant McIntosh, who hit the go-ahead free throws in Northwestern's opening-round win, had 20 for the Wildcats and Vic Law had 18.