March Madness: Gonzaga comes back to end UCLA's NCAA Tournament dreams
After taking the lead in the first half, the UCLA Bruins failed to hold off the Gonzaga Bulldogs in a nailbiter of a game reminiscent of the two teams' matchup in the 2021 Final Four.
The Bruins went on a 10-2 run to end the first half and headed to the locker rooms with a 46-33 lead. However, the Bulldogs flipped the script after halftime, holding their opponents scoreless for more than 11 minutes.
Senior forward Drew Timme scored nearly half of the Bulldogs' points, dropping 36 points, and grabbing eight boards while dishing out four assists.
Junior Julian Strawther was the team's next-highest scorer with 16 points, knocking down a crucial three-pointer from near half-court to give the Bulldogs the lead in the dying seconds. Despite their efforts, UCLA could not overcome the dagger and lost 79 to 76.
Junior Malachi Smith had the third-highest amount of points for Gonzaga with 14.
In his final game as a Bruin, Jaime Jaquez Jr. led the Bruins in points, scoring 29 while also recording a double-double by grabbing 11 rebounds.
Freshman Amari Bailey and Tyger Campbell helped Jaquez Jr. with 19 and 14 points respectively.
This matchup marks UCLA's third loss against the Bulldogs since their improbable run in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The two teams faced off in a Final Four thriller.
The two teams were neck-and-neck until then Freshman Jalen Suggs knocked down a half-court buzzer-beater in overtime, punching Gonzaga's ticket to the March Madness Finals.
With hopes to continue their deep run into the NCAA Tournament, the Bulldogs will face the University of Connecticut Huskies this weekend in the Elite Eight.
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