Northwestern’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance ended with a second-round loss to top-seeded Gonzaga on Saturday, 79-73.
The Wildcats came into the game as 11-point underdogs against the Bulldogs, and couldn’t seem to overcome those long odds.
Northwestern scored their fewest points in the first half of a game all season, as Scottie Lindsey got into foul trouble early and Gonzaga went on a 12-0 run.
The Bulldogs, who lost just one game all year, took a 38-20 lead by halftime as the Cats shot just 30 percent from the field.
It took 19 minutes for Northwestern to hit their first three, as Vic Law sank the team’s only three-pointer of the first half out of 11 attempts.
The Wildcats fared better in the second half, at one point cutting the deficit to as little as five points with just under five minutes remaining, and then twice again under the minute mark.
But after growing increasingly frustrated over calls unfavorable to Northwestern, coach Chris Collins stepped onto the court and drew a technical foul, clearing the way for Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss to pump Gonzaga’s lead back up with two free throws.
Law added 18 points and Bryant McIntosh added 20, but the Cats’ historic run fell short and Gonzaga punched their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen for the third year in a row.