Slow-starting Gonzaga lastly began enjoying like a title contender, then wore out Grand Canyon 82-70 behind 28 factors and 10 rebounds from Julian Strawther within the NCAA Tournament Friday.
Zags senior Drew Timme introduced his sweatband and handlebar mustache again to March Madness and completed with 21 factors, six rebounds and three blocks for the third-seeded Bulldogs (29-5), who have not misplaced a first-round sport within the event since 2008.
Next up for Gonzaga is a sport Sunday in opposition to the winner of a West Region contest between TCU and Arizona State.
Like virtually each Zag exterior of Strawther, Timme was bottled up and pissed off within the first half, then got here out of halftime and regarded like a distinct participant. After trailing by as many as seven, Timme’s three-point play gave Gonzaga a 48-40 lead early within the second half.
Grand Canyon’s Ray Harrison answered with a driving layup on the subsequent possession. After that, Gonzaga went on a 16-0 run throughout which the 14th-seeded Lopes (24-12), champions of the Western Athletic Conference, missed 11 straight photographs and fell behind by 22.
With the sport a laugher, the rowdy Grand Canyon followers, who for some time had purpose to dream about an upset of their very own, had an opportunity to show their consideration to the top of No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson’s shocker over No. 1 Purdue enjoying on the massive display screen above the courtroom.
But there was no upset in Denver.
FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON UPSETS TOP SEED PURDUE, BECOMING SECOND 16 SEED TO BEAT A NO. 1 IN MARCH MADNESS HISTORY
Harrison led Grand Canyon with 20 factors, and Chance McMillian had 16. Noah Baumann (eight factors) made a pair of 3s throughout a 12-4 stretch that helped the Lopes to their seven-point lead within the first half.
Strawther, who determined to return to Gonzaga for his junior season as a substitute of heading to the professionals, saved Gonzaga in it early. He scored 16 of his 28 within the first half.
The second half was extra of a staff effort for Gonzaga, which additionally obtained 14 factors and 11 rebounds from Anton Watson.
In the top, the sport was lots like Gonzaga’s season — gradual begin, higher as issues saved going and an opportunity to do extra. The Bulldogs had their 75-game house successful streak snapped in January, and this marked the primary time since 2018 they got here into the event as something aside from a No. 1 seed.
Harrison led Grand Canyon, a fifth seed within the WAC event, to 4 straight wins and the March Madness bid by changing into the primary Division I participant to gather 80 factors, 20 rebounds and 20 assists in a convention event since Kemba Walker (Big East) in 2011. On Friday, although, Harrison was bottled up. He wanted 19 photographs to get his 20 factors and completed with two rebounds and three assists.
With his dad, LaPhonso Ellis, sitting within the stands, Walter Ellis had 9 factors earlier than fouling out for Grand Canyon. LaPhonso Ellis, the previous Notre Dame star, performed in Denver for the Nuggets from 1992-98.
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