And while the strategy seemed at first suspect, it eventually proved the right move for the No. 24 Tigers.
“I kept saying: ‘If we give up some 2s, that’s OK,’” Pastner said he told his team. “We could not give up any 3s. We were not going to hold them scoreless, but if we’re giving up anything, it’s going to be 3s.”
Gonzaga, one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country at 42 percent, was 2 of 16 from outside the arc. Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga’s leading scorer at 15.3 a game, was limited to seven points, and was 1 for 7 from 3-point range.
“We kept staying with the game plan. We did not relax,” Pastner said. “We just said: ‘Hey, this is what we are doing, and if they beat us, they’re going to beat us with 2s.’”
“We just didn’t execute and didn’t do a good job making plays,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of the stretch performance.
Shaq Goodwin and Joe Jackson had 10 points each for Memphis, which has won six of seven. Goodwin had eight rebounds and three blocks as Memphis controlled the boards 44-28.
Sam Dower led Gonzaga (21-4) with 18 points and eight rebounds, shooting 9 of 12 from the field. Przemek Karnowski and Gerard Coleman had 12 points apiece.
“We had to grind it out,” Pastner said. “This was a grind it out game.”
Gonzaga made 45 percent of its shots, including half of its 24 attempts in the second half.
Meanwhile, Memphis shot 35 percent for the game after a poor first half.
“We are going to be in games where we are not making every shot,” Jackson said, “but we made the ones that counted.”