PORTLAND, Oregon – After the first inning, top seed Gonzaga Bulldogs fell behind the number nine Memphis Tigers 41-31 Saturday in the NCAA men’s basketball second round game. Drew Tim He took it upon himself to set the tone for the return of the second half.
First, Timme sent a motivational message in the hallway before his team returned to court, one he cleaned up in a post-game interview with CBS reporter Andy Katz and summed it up like this: The game, whether we lose or win, we won’t come out as a rejection…” .
Timme then followed up his words with production as Gonzaga rallied to a 82-78 win, advancing to the Sweet 16 for his seventh consecutive NCAA Championship – a streak that is one of the longest four in tournament history, joined by two Dukes under Mike Krzyzewski (nine and seven, respectively). ) and scored 13 sweet 16 consecutive runs for North Carolina from 1981 to 1993 with coach Dean Smith.
After Memphis opened the second half with a bucket to widen the lead to 12, Timme scored the next seven points in the game. Overall, he scored 14 of Zaggs’s 16 points when they cut the difference to 2 points, made 3 pointers and hit from a variety of tricky angles.
“It looked like he took every offensive bounce, every foul and every bucket of theirs, respectively,” said Tigers coach Benny Hardaway. “We watched it from TV, just watching him dominate at that level, seeing him in person… He made some great shots. Great defense and he still makes it. That’s why he is.”
For his part, Timmy would have preferred not to need second-half tournaments.
“I’d like to stop doing that,” he said. “I would like to do better in the first half because that’s not a recipe for going far and winning a lot of games.”
“I think sometimes he likes to feel his way in these games,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Vieux.
It was the second slow start in a row for Zags in Portland. Against 16th-ranked Georgia State in Thursday’s opening round match, the Bulldogs led by just two in the first inning before turning the match into a 21-0 defeat in the second. Timme had the team’s top 10 points in the first half of that game but shot 3 of 7 from the field and missed 5 of 9 free throw attempts.
On Saturday, Timme was quieter in the first half, scoring just four points on 1 of 3 and 2 of 4 free throws. Facing a talented Memphis who had won 13 of their previous 15 games after a 9-8 start, Gonzaga didn’t have the same kind of margin of error this time.
Although the Zags were 0-3 so far this season when they were trailing in the first half, few didn’t make a hard-hitting speech at the end of the first half.
Little said, “I don’t think I was yelling and yelling, but I was a little upset that we were playing ‘soft,’ so that wasn’t the original thought by Drew.”
“It was emphasized,” rang out at Timme.
After all, few had reason to trust. Gonzaga has faced a variety of obstacles over his last undefeated year during the National Championship game, finally defeating the team to the Baylor Bears.
Little said, “These guys are battle-tested,” referring to Timmy and the ranger Andrew Nimbard. “These two people have gone through it all.”
On the opposite touchline, Hardaway realized what had happened to his team in the second half.
“They have reached the level of the championship,” he said. “We were the most aggressive team in the first half. We kind of shocked them, and they took their confidence. I knew they came out after the first half for an adjustment because they are a great team and they did. They made shots and had to stop and they went both ways.”
Despite the increase led by Timme, the tigers remained in the game until the last seconds. 3 – Pointer by Lester Quinones Memphis pulled within two in 78-76, two free throws from Landers Noli II He again produced a two-point game with just over six seconds remaining.
Both times Nembhard made two free throws, which prevented the Tigers from having a chance of a tie or a lead – no guarantee on the night Zaggs hit 13 of 24 (52%) off the streak, following up on a 16-of-30 (53%) performance Thursday.
“For him to go ahead and hit those free throws while everyone on our team was smoking it, it was probably the most impressive thing of the night if you ask me,” Little said.
On the flip side, Hardaway definitely liked Timmy.
“We understand that we were the underdogs and that we were going to have to fight these guys and we went into the first half by 10 and got to 12 and then the Drew Timmy effect started,” Hardaway said. “He hit some hard kicks and dominated the game and got our guys in trouble and the rest is history.”