Julian Strawther’s late 3-pointer pushes No. 8 Gonzaga past BYU
Julian Strawther’s go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds left pushed No. 8 Gonzaga past BYU by a final score of 75-74 on Thursday night in Provo, Utah to wrap up a three-game road swing.
Drew Timme led all scorers with 19 points for the Zags (15-3, 4-0 WCC), who picked up their 10th straight win after overcoming a double-digit deficit in the second half.
The Cougars (13-7, 3-2 WCC) caught fire from deep with 13 3-pointers while Spencer Johnson finished with 18 points. Jaxson Robinson pitched in 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting from deep.
Up one with 16 seconds left and Robinson at the free-throw line, the sophomore left the door open after missing the second of a one-and-one.
Strawther, who was 1-for-6 from deep at this point, wasted no time in taking advantage of the miss. The junior pulled up with no hesitation to knock down the go-ahead basket, leaving the 18,000 fans in attendance in shock.
Strawther finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
A 3-pointer from Hunter Sallis made it a 1-point game with just under two minutes left after a couple of and-one baskets from Timme kept the Zags in striking distance.
With BYU up four with a minute remaining, an errant inbound from Robinson led to a wide-open 3-pointer from Hickman, his only field goal of the night.
Anton Watson finished with a season-high 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor.
BYU took an early advantage before the Zags’ offense took control with an 11-2 run capped off with a Malachi Smith 3-pointer from the left wing.
Another 10-3 spurt from Mark Few’s squad helped push the lead to as many as 10 points in the first half. BYU cut into its deficit with back-to-back 3-pointers from Spencer Johnson and Gideon George, but stifling defense from Watson led to a fastbreak score to give the Zags a 44-39 advantage heading into the locker room.
The Cougars went scoreless over the final three minutes of the half.
Watson led all scorers with 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the floor. Gonzaga shot 56% from the floor and outrebounded BYU 22-12.
Jaxson Robinson caught fire from deep to help the Cougars flip the script coming out of the break. The 6-foot-7 sophomore knocked down three straight 3-pointers to knot things up at 48 apiece before a longball from Johnson gave BYU the lead.
Meanwhile, the Zags’ offense sputtered to the tune of a 5-for-23 start shooting the ball as their rival jumped out to a double-digit advantage.
Gonzaga is back home on Saturday when the Portland Pilots (8-10, 0-3 WCC) visit Spokane. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. PST.
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