The tenth-ranked Zags took their undefeated record with them against Illinois but could not complete a late rally. They lost. And now they must dust themselves off and get back to basketball.
It was a tough loss for a Gonzaga team looking to make a statement on the national stage. And for that, the Bulldogs fell to No. 14 in the AP rankings on Monday.
Despite writing an ‘L' next to their name for the first time this season, the Zags came away from Saturday's game having learned a lesson that will help move them forward.
Now, the team is looking to get back to playing Zag basketball the way it was meant to be played.
"When we had a lead and were making baskets we couldn't stretch it," said guard Kevin Pangos. "When they were getting baskets we couldn't catch up. Just getting stops – that would have helped us in that game."
"If we had just been in the right spots and done what we were supposed to do I think we would have been fine," said coach Mark Few. "When we did do that we were fine. We just have to get back to doing what we do. I think practicing that and getting it re-enforced – I think we kind of got away from that with all these games going on…"
Gonzaga's next game is a big one. They play Kansas State at KeyArena in the annual Battle in Seattle contest. Saturday's game is at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.