No. 9 Gonzaga Uses Late 3s To Beat No. 22 Washington 83-76
All five Zag starters finish in double-digit scoring
SEATTLE (AP) — Killian Tillie made a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 2:55 remaining and finished with 15 points, Joel Ayayi hit another 3 with 24 seconds left and No. 9 Gonzaga held off No. 22 Washington 83-76 on Sunday night.
Control of the in-state rivalry remained on the east side of the state as the Bulldogs (10-1) could never pull away but made the key plays in the closing minutes to hold off the young Huskies (7-2). Gonzaga has won six straight in the series, with Washington’s last win coming in 2005.
Tillie and Ayayi were two of the heroes on a night the Bulldogs put five players into double figures. Filip Petrusev finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Ryan Woolridge had 16 points, including two key baskets in the final 2 ½ minutes. Corey Kispert added 15 points and Ayayi finished with 12, but none bigger than his 3 in the final minute.
Isaiah Stewart led Washington with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Jaden McDaniels and Nahziah Carter both added 15 points and Quade Green finished with 14.
It was a back-and-forth game where Gonzaga never trailed after falling behind 5-4, but the lead never got bigger than nine. But every time Washington made a run, the Bulldogs had an answer.
Gonzaga took its biggest lead at 65-56 with 8:35 left when Drew Timme tipped in Woolridge’s miss. It seemed a substantial advantage after the teams spent the first 30-plus minutes never separated by more than a couple of points.
But Washington responded with a pair of free throws from Stewart and off a turnover a floater from Carter to pull back within 65-60 and force a Gonzaga timeout. Tillie stemmed the momentum with a tough basket, but Hameir Wright answered with a 3 for Washington and the lead was 67-63 with 7 minutes left.
Gonzaga pushed the lead back to 7, but Carter’s fast-break layup, followed by Stewart hustling to save a loose ball and McDaniels hitting a 3 to pull the Huskies to 72-70 with 3:51 left.
That’s when Tillie saw the shot clock winding down and launched from about 30 feet. The 3 pushed the lead back to five and after Carter hit a 3 for Washington, Woolridge scored on consecutive possessions.
Ayayi’s 3 gave the Zags a six-point lead and sent Washington fans to the exits.
Gonzaga: The matchup against Washington was the start of a mighty three-game stretch for the Bulldogs. They’ll have a nearly a week off before traveling to Arizona next Saturday and then return home to host North Carolina. Washington was the second ranked team the Bulldogs have faced.
Washington: The Huskies will lament a sloppy first-half where they committed 12 turnovers. The Huskies finished with 19 turnovers, which was two off a season-high committed.
Gonzaga: At Arizona on Saturday.
Washington: Host Seattle on Dec. 17.