Two-seed UCLA’s late comeback attempt against third-seeded Gonzaga fails as Julian Strawther’s dagger 3-pointer from the LOGO with seven seconds left wins it for the Bulldogs 79-76… sending them to the Elite Eight
After going an 11 minute span without making a single field goal, the UCLA Bruins put up a massive comeback in the final minutes. However, a dagger 3-pointer with seven seconds to go resulted in a 79-76 victory for Gonzaga.
The Bruins were down 72-62 with 2:30 remaining in the game, the Bruins put up a massive comeback with an 14-3 run.
With 13 seconds remaining, Amari Bailey hit a dagger 3-pointer to take the lead 76-75 – but with seven seconds to go, Gonzaga’s Julian Strawther hit a deep shot from the logo to go back up 78-76.
Gonzaga’s Malachi Smith stole the ball from UCLA’s Tyger Campbell, but Strawther only hit 1 of 2 free throws at the other end, giving the Bruins a chance. Campbell’s 3-pointer at the buzzer hit the back of the rim, sending the Zags rushing off the bench
Awaiting them in the final is the University of Connecticut Huskies, who downed Arkansas 86-65 earlier in the day.
An impressive last-ditch comeback attempt for UCLA wasn’t enough to outlast Gonzaga
After a short spurt comeback attempt, Amari Bailey (5) hit a 3-pointer to give UCLA the lead
But Julian Strawther hit a deep-range shot from the logo to put the dagger in UCLA’s hopes
Strawther’s shot, off a drop pass, was reminiscent of the one Villanova´s Kris Jenkins made to clinch the 2016 national championship.
It’s the second time Gonzaga has beaten UCLA on a last-second shot in the NCAA Tournament. Jalen Suggs crushed the Bruins the last time, hitting a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the Zags to the 2021 national championship game.
The flurry of a finish started off more like a prize fight, each team taking its turn landing blows in a game of wild swings. UCLA led by 13 at the half, but Gonzaga led by 10 with 2:30 left in game. Then UCLA didn´t make a shot for more than 12 minutes, and still but rallied to lead 76-75 with 13 seconds left.
The Zags were led by Drew Timme, who had 36 points for his record 10th NCAA Tournament game with 20 points.
Gonzaga also turned up the defensive pressure after UCLA´s hot-shooting first half and led by eight, but Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored on a three-point play and a layup to cut it 74-71 with 45 seconds left. Timme then missed two free throws, setting up Bailey´s shot.
Thankfully for the Zags, Strawther was on the mark with his long 3-pointer, sending them to the Elite Eight for the fifth time under coach Mark Few.
Jaquez finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds.