Julian Strawther made a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 9.5 seconds remaining as No. 8 Gonzaga escaped with a 75-74 victory against BYU in a West Coast Conference game Thursday night in Provo, Utah.
The Bulldogs (15-3, 4-0 WCC) rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final 5:03 for their third consecutive narrow road victory by a combined total of eight points.
Drew Timme had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Anton Watson scored a season-high 18, grabbed eight rebounds and got a hand on a last-second 3-point attempt by BYU’s Spencer Johnson.
Johnson scored 18 points for the Cougars (13-7, 3-2) and Gideon George and Jaxson Robinson added 17 apiece.
It was Gonzaga’s 92nd consecutive victory against an unranked opponent and its 35th straight in the month of January.
A pair of 3-pointers by Johnson gave the Cougars the lead with about 11 minutes left. They extended the margin to 66-56 on George’s 3-pointer with 7:28 left.
BYU still led by 10 when Strawther made a trey with 4:55 remaining to spark GU’s late run.
Gonzaga’s Hunter Sallis and Nolan Hickman made 3-pointers, the latter with 1:01 left pulling them within 73-72.
Robinson made one free throw with 16 seconds left but missed the second, and Strawther brought the ball down the court and launched a deep 3-pointer for the winning margin.
Gonzaga led 44-39 after a back-and-forth first half as Watson had 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the field.
The Zags took an early 8-3 lead before BYU went on a 10-1 run, sparked by George’s 3-pointer and capped by a three-point play by Fousseyni Traore after he stole the ball from Timme and was fouled while throwing down a dunk.
Timme made two baskets and added an assist in an 8-0 Gonzaga run later in the half as the Zags took a 37-27 lead.
Johnson and George made 3-pointers to help the Cougars’ trim their deficit to five by the intermission.
–Field Level Media