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NCAA Tournament: Gonzaga Bulldogs beat TCU 84-81 behind Drew Timme's 28 points

By Cole Forsman,


The Gonzaga Bulldogs will make their eighth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance after defeating the TCU Horned Frogs, 84-81 , in the second round of the NCAA Tournament West region on Sunday.

Drew Timme’s 28 points led the way for the No. 3 Zags, who will take on No. 2 UCLA on Thursday in Las Vegas for the right to play in the Elite Eight. The Bruins defeated No. 7 Northwestern, 68-63, on Saturday for their third straight appearance in the Sweet 16.

Rasir Bolton chipped in 17 points, 12 of which came in the second half, while Julian Strawther scored 10 points for the Zags.

Mike Miles Jr. led the Horned Frogs with 24 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field, leading the way in the program’s second-straight round of 32 appearance.

Timme passed Pepperdine’s Colbey Ross for fifth place on the West Coast Conference’s all-time scoring list with a jumper midway through the first half, giving Gonzaga a 6-4 lead with 16:23 left.

Outside of Timme, the Zags struggled offensively in the first half. The rest of Gonzaga's players shot a combined 5-for-23 from the floor in the first half. The first non-Timme points didn’t come until Malachi Smith’s 3-pointer cut TCU's lead to 11-9 with 13:49 left in the first half.

The Horned Frogs jumped out to a 10-point lead on the back of their defense, which held Gonzaga to 36.4% shooting from the field, including 2-for-14 from deep.

After cutting the Horned Frogs lead in half, Anton Watson made it a one-possession game with a crafty post-move around sophomore forward JaKobe Coles, completing the 3-point play at the charity stripe.

TCU went into the half up 38-33 led by Miles Jr.’s 10 points.

Despite the cold start, Bolton and Gonzaga came out of the locker room on fire.

Trailing by six, Timme fended off a double-team to hit Bolton streaking to the corner for a 3-pointer, cutting the Horned Frogs' lead in half. The two connected the next offensive possession with the same result, as the Zags knocked down three 3-pointers less than four minutes into the half.

Strawther gave Gonzaga a 46-45 lead with his second 3-pointer of the night.

With momentum on their side, the Zags began to put the pressure on the Horned Frogs. Timme swatted away Miles Jr.’s layup attempt, leading to a fast-break layup for Bolton on the other end to tie it up at 50-50.

The Zags turned defense into offense to regain the lead after Ben Gregg rejected a layup from Chuck O’Bannon Jr., leading to a Smith 3-pointer to make it 56-55 with 11:36 remaining.

The triple sparked a 10-0 run from the Zags, who led 63-55 following a two-hand dunk in transition from Watson, who redeemed himself after missing a dunk the possession prior.


(All photos by Michael Ciaglo, USA TODAY Sports)

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