No. 9 Gonzaga rallies for 77-75 win over San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rasir Bolton scored on a follow shot with 7 seconds left to give No. 9 Gonzaga its first lead since the opening minutes and the Bulldogs beat San Francisco 77-75 on Thursday night.
Gonzaga 77, San Francisco 75: Box score
Gonzaga (13-3, 2-0 West Coast Conference) trailed nearly the entire way before Bolton rebounded a miss by Drew Timme and scored to break a 75-all tie. Bolton was fouled on the play but missed the free throw, giving the Dons (11-7, 0-3) one last chance.
But Khalil Shabazz mishandled his dribble and never got a shot off as San Francisco fell just short of ending a 24-game losing streak against the Bulldogs.
THE GAME WINNER !!pic.twitter.com/mQM6NUKGC5
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) January 6, 2023
Bolton scored 21 points to lead Gonzaga and Julian Strawther added 16.
Tyrell Roberts scored 18 points for the Dons, making the basket that gave them a 75-73 lead. Shabazz added 17.
Anton Wilson tied the game at 77 with a dunk with just under a minute left and Shabazz missed a 3-pointer at the other end that set up the go-ahead basket.
Gonzaga has won 80 straight games against unranked opponents.
The Dons, coming off consecutive 12-point losses to open conference play, took control early thanks to good outside shooting and solid work on the offensive boards.
Shabazz made back-to-back 3-pointers late in the half to build the lead to 12 points and USF took a 46-36 lead into the half when Isaiah Hawthorne scored on a put-back with 2 seconds left. The Dons had a 16-0 advantage on second-chance points in the first half.
The Bulldogs used an 11-1 run run early in the second half to get the deficit down to two and the game remained tight until the closing stretch.
BILL RUSSELL NIGHT
The Dons honored late star Bill Russell, who died over the summer at age 88. Russell led San Francisco to back-to-back national titles in 1955-56 before going on to have a Hall of Fame career in the NBA with the Boston Celtics, winning 11 championships in 13 seasons.
There was a pregame video tribute and more played throughout the game.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs were given a rare test in conference play, being forced to play from behind for most of the game as they struggled shooting and on the glass. The nation’s top shooting team at 52.6% shot just 45% from the field.
San Francisco: The Dons fell to 3-27 against ranked teams in the past 10 seasons with the loss but looked for a while like they could build on last month’s victory over then-No. 25 Arizona State. San Francisco has managed to play Gonzaga tough a few times in recent years but has now lost 25 straight in the series since a home win in 2012.
Gonzaga: Visits Santa Clara on Saturday night.
San Francisco: Visits Loyola Marymount on Saturday night.