This time, Zags hold on to defeat BYU in Spokane

Photo courtesy Gonzaga Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. – Zach Norvell, Jr. swished a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 2:47 left in the game as No. 14 Gonzaga beat BYU 68-60 Saturday night in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The Bulldogs made four straight free throws in the game’s final 29 seconds to ice the victory, Gonzaga’s first at home against BYU in four years.

“We knew it was going to be like that,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of the BYU game. “It’s tough to generate baskets off that defense.”

“Nobody plays harder” than BYU, Few said.

Cougars coach Dave Rose said he was happy with the effort, if not the outcome.

“The last couple games, we had lost our physical edge and I thought tonight it was a challenge for our guys to come out and show toughness,” he said. “It’s difficult to lose that one, but the guys played hard and played together.”

Photo by BYU Photo

TJ Haws led the BYU offense with 22 points and four assists and hit back-to-back jumpers to help the Cougars catch Gonzaga at 59-59 with 2:46 left in the game. But just 19 seconds after the tying basket, Norvell got a good look at a trey and nailed it from the corner to give the Zags a three-point lead.

After a free throw by Luke Worthington made it 62-60, Johnathan Williams broke free for an inside basket to make it 64-60 with 1:40 on the clock. BYU would turn the ball over twice and go 0 for 3 shooting the rest of the game.

Luke Worthington scored a career-high 16 points, while grabbing three rebounds, and Yoeli Childs recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds for BYU. He also tallied four assists and one block.

A dunk by Childs was the first bucket of the contest and was followed by baskets on both ends of the court. The Bulldogs went on to take an early 12-6 lead with 16 minutes left on the clock.

Haws hit his first trey of the night to bring the Cougars within one and a layup by Bryant gave BYU a 13-12 advantage.

With just over 12 minutes to go and Gonzaga on top by one, 16-15, the Childs came out of the first break of the game and recorded a block and answered on the other end with a bucket of his own to put BYU back on top, 17-16.

The Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run to take a 24-17 lead with 9:11 remaining in the half.

Gonzaga stayed in control for the remainder of the first half, going into the locker room on top 36-26. The Bulldogs shot 50.0 percent from the field and the Cougars shot 41.4 percent.

A 7-0 run by BYU that ended with a 3-pointer by Haws early in the second half brought the Cougars within four, 39-35.

A jumper by Worthington and a pair of free-throws by Bryant tied the game at 43-all with 13:16 remaining in the game.

The Bulldogs regained control, taking a 51-45 lead. Worthington answered with another basket of his own, keeping it a two-possession ball game.

Six-straight points by Haws, including a three-point play and a 3-pointer, brought the Cougars within two, 57-55 with 4:07 to go in the game.

Two more buckets by Haws tied the game at 59-all, but Gonzaga answered with a trey to keep its lead.

Gonzaga held on, making free-throws in the final minute of the game to secure a 68-60 victory.

At the end of the game, BYU shot 44.6 percent from the field, while the Bulldogs shot 43.5 percent.

The Cougars return home as they take on Santa Clara in the Marriott Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. MST. Live coverage will be available on ESPNU and audio broadcasts can be heard on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143) and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.

Player Notes
Yoeli Childs finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. It was his 12th double-double and 23rd-consecutive game scoring in double figures.

TJ Haws finished with 22 points on 9 of 16 shooting from the field and 3 of 7 from 3-point range. It was his fourth 20-point game of the season and seventh game with three-plus 3-pointers.

Luke Worthington finished with career highs of 16 points and 32 minutes played. He also tied his career high with six made field goals.

Stats: GONMBB25_0

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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