No. 3 Zags earn dramatic Sweet 16 win over No. 2 UCLA
Drew Timme put on a performance for the ages with 36 points and 13 rebounds and Julian Strawther buried a long go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds left as Gonzaga recorded a 79-76 victory over UCLA on Thursday in an NCAA Tournament West Region semifinal at Las Vegas.
Strawther had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Malachi Smith scored 14 points as the third-seeded Bulldogs (31-5) overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to reach the Elite Eight for the fifth time in the past eight NCAA Tournaments.
Strawther drained his 3-pointer after UCLA's Amari Bailey hit a 3-pointer to give UCLA a 76-75 edge with 12.4 seconds left.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. registered 29 points, 11 rebounds and three steals for the second-seeded Bruins (31-6), who lost for just the second time in the past 16 games. Bailey had 19 points and Tyger Campbell added 14 points and nine assists.
Strawther split two free throws with 1.4 seconds left, giving UCLA one last attempt. Campbell's 3-point shot bounced off the back rim as time expired.
Gonzaga has won 12 straight games entering a Saturday clash with fourth-seeded UConn (28-8) in the regional final with a Final Four berth on the line.
Timme notched a NCAA Tournament-record 10th career 20-point outing. He was tied with six others.
Gonzaga had a commanding 50-26 rebounding edge and collected 16 offensive boards. The Bulldogs led by 10 with 2:40 to play.
UCLA went 11:20 without a field goal in the second half -- missing 11 straight attempts -- before Jaquez's three-point play cut Gonzaga's lead to 72-66 with 1:14 remaining.
Jaquez converted another three-point play to bring the Bruins within 74-71 with 45 seconds left. Gonzaga's Anton Watson split two free throws before Jaquez drove for a layup to make it a two-point game with 33.7 seconds to play.
Timme missed two free throws with 25.3 seconds remaining prior to Bailey's go-ahead trey.
UCLA played without top defender Jaylen Clark (Achilles, out for season) and interior defender Adem Bona. The latter was sidelined with a shoulder injury that he aggravated during the Sweet 16 win over Northwestern.
The Bruins shot 41.8 percent from the field, including 7 of 18 (38.9 percent) from 3-point range.
Gonzaga shot 50 percent from the field and went 6 of 16 (37.5 percent) from behind the arc.
The Bruins led 46-33 at halftime and were still up by 12 four-plus minutes into the second half before the Bulldogs went on a 30-8 run.
Smith drained a trey to cap the surge and make it 72-62 with 2:40 to play.
Bailey and Campbell scored 13 points apiece and Jaquez added 12 for UCLA before the break. Timme had 19 points in the half for the Bulldogs.
--Field Level Media
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