In a very exciting and grueling game, Gonzaga beat a strong and talented TCU team 84-81. Gonzaga led Drew Timmy with 28 points and another impressive post-game touchdown. Racer Bolton who was Mia in the first half knocked down 17 warriors in the second half. Anton Watson was amazing, tallying nine points, 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. TCU was led by the impressive Mike Miles, who scored 24 points with four assists, and Emmanuel Miller led the Horned Frogs with six rebounds.
Remember how many times you heard about those tough competitive games during the season that made the difference in March? This is your prime example. Gonzaga overcame his worst first inning in recent memory to return to the Sweet 16 for the eighth straight time. The season also marked their eighth 30-win season in the last 11 years.
Gonzaga started incredibly slow and was extremely lucky down by just five, 38-33 at the half. Troubled by TCU’s aggressive defense coupled with the lack of an open appearance, they shot 36% from the field, 14% from three (Boulton were zero-for-5) and 54% from the line.
Drew Timmy scored 11 first-half points and tied at least six of TCU’s 13 first-half errors. He kept Gonzaga alone in the game despite having to sit out the final four minutes of the half after committing his second foul.
On the other hand, TCU, who have only shot 30% from depth for the year, hit two of four three-point attempts including one at the end of the first half to extend the lead to five. TCU moved the ball well (eight assists to GU’s five) and looked much better in the transitional game.
Gonzaga opened the second half like a different team, more powerful and in sync. Bolton, a terrible first half, hit his first three-point attempt followed by another by Strother to give GU their first 46-45 lead.
Gonzaga was playing better, but Mike Miles Jr. ensured TCU stayed in the game. He hit two of his three-pointers and two drives as the teams traded leads for the next ten minutes.
Thanks to a well-timed thirty by Malachi Smith, Bolton hitting key shots and Anton Watson doing a little bit of everything, Gonzaga extended their lead to eight with eight minutes left in the match.
Two noteworthy plays highlight Gonzaga’s return. Timme was called on an offensive foul on a return, and on the next possession made a rare three-pointer. Watson awkwardly missed a great pass from Bolton but made up for it on the next possession with a breakaway steal and dunk.
TCU was distraught but never got away from leading to two with seven minutes left to play and never got close to it. Timme’s vintage time was down the stretch.
Gonzaga continued to feed Drew the ball and kept scoring and pulling fouls on TCU defenders. Questionable calls aside, Gonzaga extended the Seven’s lead with a minute left in the game, delivered the free throws they needed to make and displayed a toughness that would impress even the most ardent GU critics.
Give credit to the well-trained and talented TCU team who will never quit. They gave Gonzaga everything they could handle.
Once again, Gonzaga moves into its second weekend of the tournament and will take on #2 seed UCLA on Thursday, 6:45 PM in Las Vegas.
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