Drew Timme inspires Gonzaga, leads second-half comeback to take down Memphis

PORTLAND — After a primary half the place the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs fell behind the No. 9 seed Memphis Tigers 41-31 Saturday in an NCAA match second-round matchup, main scorer Drew Timme took it upon himself to set the tone for a second-half comeback.

First, Timme delivered a motivational message within the hallway earlier than his crew returned to the court docket, one he cleaned up in a postgame interview with CBS reporter Andy Katz and summarized as “I do not give a flying F what occurs on the finish of the sport, whether or not we lose or win, we’re not going out as no … delicate guys.”

Then Timme adopted up his phrases with manufacturing as Gonzaga rallied for an 82-78 win, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the seventh consecutive NCAA match — a streak that is without doubt one of the 4 longest in match historical past, joined by two from Duke beneath Mike Krzyzewski (9 and 7, respectively) and a document 13 consecutive Sweet 16s for North Carolina from 1981-99 with coach Dean Smith.

After Memphis opened the second half with a bucket to prolong the lead to 12, Timme scored the sport’s subsequent seven factors. Overall, he scored 14 of the Zags’ 16 factors in a stretch the place they minimize the deficit down to two, making a 3-pointer and hitting from quite a lot of tough angles.

“It appeared like he received each offensive rebound, each foul, each bucket for them consecutively,” mentioned Tigers coach Penny Hardaway. “We’ve witnessed it from the TV a bunch, simply watching him be that dominant, and to see it in individual … he made some implausible pictures. Great protection and he nonetheless made them. That’s why he’s who he’s.”

For his half, Timme would favor not to want second-half heroics.

“I would really like to cease doing that,” he mentioned. “I would really like to do a greater job within the first half as a result of that is not a recipe to go far and win a number of video games.”

“I feel generally he likes to really feel his manner into these video games,” mentioned Gonzaga coach Mark Few.

It was a second consecutive gradual begin for the Zags in Portland. Facing No. 16 seed Georgia State in Thursday’s opening-round sport, the Bulldogs led by simply two at halftime earlier than turning the sport right into a rout with a 21-0 second-half run. Timme had a team-high 10 factors within the first half of that sport, however shot 3-of-7 from the sector and missed 5 of his 9 free throw makes an attempt.

On Saturday, Timme was even quieter within the first half, scoring simply 4 factors on 1-of-3 capturing and 2-of-4 on free throws. Facing a proficient Memphis crew that had gained 13 of its earlier 15 video games after a 9-8 begin, Gonzaga did not have the identical type of margin for error this time.

Although the Zags had been 0-3 thus far this season when trailing at halftime, Few did not ship a fiery halftime speech.

“I do not assume I used to be screaming and yelling,” Few mentioned, “however I used to be considerably mildly agitated that we had been taking part in ‘delicate’ in order that wasn’t an unique thought by Drew.”

“It was reiterated,” chimed in Timme.

After all, Few had motive for confidence. Gonzaga confronted quite a lot of obstacles throughout final 12 months’s undefeated run up via the nationwide championship sport, the place the crew was lastly defeated by the Baylor Bears.

“These guys are battle examined,” Few mentioned, referring to upperclassmen Timme and guard Andrew Nembhard. “These two have been via all the pieces.”

On the opposing sideline, Hardaway acknowledged what occurred to his crew within the second half.

“They went to the championship degree,” he mentioned. “We had been the extra aggressive crew within the first half. We type of shocked them, took their confidence. I knew popping out after halftime that they had been going to make an adjustment as a result of they’re an important crew and so they did. They had to make pictures and so they had to get stops and so they did each methods.”

Despite the Timme-led surge, the Tigers nonetheless stayed within the sport till the closing seconds. A 3-pointer by Lester Quinones pulled Memphis inside two at 78-76, and two free throws from Landers Nolley II once more produced a two-point sport with a bit of over six seconds remaining.

Both instances, Nembhard made a pair of free throws, stopping the Tigers from ever having a chance to tie issues up or take the lead — no assure on an evening the place the Zags shot 13-of-24 (52%) from the foul line, following up a 16-of-30 (53%) efficiency on Thursday.

“For him to step up and hit these free throws when actually everyone else on our crew was smoking them was in all probability probably the most spectacular factor of the evening when you ask me,” Few mentioned.

From the opposite aspect, Hardaway was definitely impressed by Timme.

“We perceive that we had been the underdog and we had been going to have to struggle these guys and went into halftime up 10 and received it to 12 after which the Drew Timme Effect got here into play,” Hardaway mentioned. “He made some robust pictures, managed the sport, received our guys in foul bother and the remainder is historical past.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Friday MEGA MILLIONS® jackpot is $660 million