Weary No. 17 Gonzaga tops Texas in OT
PORTLAND, Ore. — Playing their second overtime contest in two days, Gonzaga’s players were growing tired.
But the No. 17 Bulldogs had just enough left in the tank to hang on for a 76-71 overtime win over Texas in the third-place game of the Victory bracket of the Phil Knight 80 Invitational on Sunday.
“I think 99 percent of the teams out there would’ve caved in in the overtime so I’m proud of our guys,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “I’m really proud of our guys, that’s a great sign for how we competed, came back and won the next five minutes.”
After finishing up its double-overtime semifinal loss to Florida around 11:30 p.m. Friday evening, Gonzaga (5-1) had a short turnaround before playing Texas at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Rui Hachimura finished with a team-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting and nine rebounds off the bench for the Bulldogs.
“I’m happy for him. ... He really helped us,” Few said of Hachimura. “He’s really been struggling but he kind of found his way into some baskets and effective winning plays.”
Josh Perkins filled the stat sheet with 16 points, seven assists and three rebounds.
“We played three tough teams and we competed,” Perkins said. “As a teammate, that’s all I can ask from my guys, compete no matter what.”
Matt Coleman led Texas (4-2) with 19 points while Andrew Jones added 18. Kerwin Roach II added seven points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
Down by five with 17 seconds to play, Texas got a quick layup by Mohamed Bamba before forcing a Gonzaga turnover. The ball found its way to Jones in the corner and he knocked down a 3-pointer with two Bulldogs in his face to tie the game.
Gonzaga’s Silas Melson missed a halfcourt heave, sending the game into overtime.
Texas scored 10 seconds into the overtime to take the lead, but did not score again until just six seconds remained. Gonzaga had reeled off eight straight points in the meantime to take control.
Texas made a huge run midway through the second half to get back in the game.
Trailing 57-40 with 12:05 to play, the Longhorns turned up the pressure defensively. Buoyed by 11 Gonzaga turnovers, the Longhorns went on a 19-6 run over the next 10 minutes to cut the deficit to 63-59 with 2:08 to play.
“Our guys battled back,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “We were playing to attack and be aggressive.”
With the shot clock running down, Melson ended the Texas run by knocking down a 3-pointer with 59.3 seconds left.
With its size and length, Gonzaga did a good job of limiting Texas’ dynamic duo down low in Bamba and Dylan Osetkowski, who were limited to a combined 24 points on 8-of-22 shooting.
They’re a tough guard with Bamba’s length but Osetkowski is the key to their team,” Few said. “We doubled (Osetkowski) a lot.”
On the strength of eight points from Coleman, Texas jumped out to a 16-8 lead through the 7:30 of the game. But thanks to a 24-0 run midway through the first half, that was the last time the Longhorns led the rest of the way.
“I thought we responded really well,” Few said. “We played with some tough toughness against a really rock solid, physical, big team.”
NOTES: Gonzaga F Johnathon Williams was held to 10 points and four rebounds after putting up 39 and 12 against Florida. ... Gonzaga F Riu Hachimura’s 20 points were a season high. ... Gonzaga beat Texas in their last meeting in 2006, when current Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant was a freshman at Texas. ... The Bulldogs knocked down 11 3-pointers, giving them 33 in the three-game tourney. ... Texas F Mohamed Bamba finished with five blocks and 10 rebounds. ... Gonzaga committed a season-high 24 turnovers.