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#1 Gonzaga rallies to fend off Memphis, 82-78

#1 Gonzaga rallies to fend off Memphis, 82-78

Drew Timme scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half to help Gonzaga rally from a 12-point deficit and notch an 82-78 victory over Memphis in the second round of the West Regional on Saturday night at Portland, Ore.

Andrew Nembhard made five 3-pointers and scored 23 points for top-seeded Gonzaga (28-3), which advanced to the Sweet 16 for the seventh straight time.

Rasir Bolton scored 17 points and Chet Holmgren contributed nine points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots before fouling out as the Bulldogs won for the 21st time in the past 22 games. Timme added 14 rebounds.

Gonzaga will face fourth-seeded Arkansas (27-8) in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.

DeAndre Williams recorded 14 points and seven rebounds for ninth-seeded Memphis (22-11), which lost for just the third time in the past 16 games. Tyler Harris added 13 points and Lester Quinones had 10 for the Tigers.

Gonzaga connected on 51.7 percent of its field-goal attempts and made 9 of 27 from 3-point range. The Bulldogs were just 13 of 24 from the free-throw line.

The Tigers hit 42.9 percent of their shots but were a shaky 4 of 19 from behind the arc. Memphis made 14 of 20 free throws.

The game was tied at 66 before Holmgren scored on a dunk and Nembhard buried a 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a five-point advantage with 4:36 remaining.

Nembhard nailed another trey to give Gonzaga a 76-69 lead with 2:19 left. But Memphis got hoops from Jalen Duren and Williams to creep within three with 1:05 left.

Nembhard later made two free throws with 22.1 seconds left to make it 80-76. Landers Nolley II made two free throws to pull Memphis within two with 6.1 seconds to play.

But Nembhard again made two free throws with 4.4 seconds remaining to seal it.

“This guy right here iced the frickin’ game, controlled the game, they pressed and got up in him and he didn’t let it faze him,” Timme said of Nembhard afterward. “That’s what we expect from him. He brought us home.”

Nolley opened the second half with a jumper to give Memphis a game-high 12-point lead at 43-31.

Timme, who was 1-of-3 shooting in the first half, suddenly exploded and scored all the Gonzaga points in an 11-2 run to cut the Tigers’ lead to 45-42 with 15:53 left.

The Bulldogs finally caught Memphis at 51 on Holmgren’s 17-foot jumper with 12:52 remaining. Gonzaga kept the pressure on and eventually moved ahead at 58-57 on Timme’s basket with 10:56 left.

Bolton followed with a 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a four-point edge but Memphis scored nine of the next 13 points to tie it with 5:48 to play.

Memphis outscored the Bulldogs 24-9 over the final seven-plus minutes of the first half to hold a 41-31 edge at the break.

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