Associated Press Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura (21) shoots the go-ahead basket while defended by Washington forward Sam Timmins (33) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Spokane, Wash., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Gonzaga won 81-79. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Thursday, December 06, 2018 1:25 am
Hachimura's shot lifts No. 1 Gonzaga over Washington 81-79
NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS | Associated Press
SPOKANE, Wash. – Rui Hachimura's short jumper with half a second left lifted top-ranked Gonzaga to an 81-79 win over in-state rival Washington on Wednesday night.
Hachimura had 26 points for Gonzaga (9-0), which has won 12 of its past 13 games against the Huskies.
Washington missed a halfcourt shot as the final buzzer sounded.
Jaylen Nowell scored 26 for Washington (6-3), which was in the preseason Top 25 before losing at No. 8 Auburn.
Washington's zone defense slowed down the high-scoring Bulldogs. They were held well below their season average of 98 points per game, which ranked second in the nation.
Hachimura had 18 points as Gonzaga took a 40-30 halftime lead.
Washington shot just 39 percent in the first period, while Gonzaga shot 41 percent and sank all 10 of its free throws.
Washington opened the second half with a 12-2 run, and Jaylen Nowell's 3-pointer tied the score at 42. Nowell followed with another 3 for a 45-42 lead, as Gonzaga made just one of its first 11 shots in the second.
Gonzaga replied with a 7-0 run for a 49-45 advantage.
The teams traded a flurry of baskets, and a pair by Brandon Clarke gave Gonzaga a 65-58 lead.
Nowell's basket cut it to 79-75 with a minute left, and Matisse Thybulle's bucket trimmed the deficit to two.
Nowell went to the free throw line with 9.4 seconds left and tied the score at 79.
Washington: The Huskies held their previous six opponents under 70 points. ... Thybulle was the only player in the nation averaging at least 2.5 blocks and 2.8 steals per game. ... Noah Dickerson averaged 20 points in his previous four games. ... The Huskies were averaging seven blocks per game.
Gonzaga: The Zags came in 35-18 against members of the Pac-12 under coach Mark Few. ... Gonzaga entered with four starters averaging in double figures, and two more scoring better than eight points per game.
Washington hosts crosstown rival Seattle on Sunday.
Gonzaga gets a major test when it plays No. 7 Tennessee in Phoenix on Sunday.
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