PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Drew Timme hit a free throw with 20.6 seconds left in overtime and No. 8 Gonzaga survived Payton Pritchard’s attempts at a game-winner as the Bulldogs held off No. 11 Oregon, 73-72, on Thursday, securing a spot in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game.
Pritchard missed a jumper while being defended by Ryan Woolridge, and Gonzaga’s Filip Petrusev tied up the rebound during a tussle in the paint. The possession arrow favored the Zags with 0.2 seconds remaining, allowing them to secure the win by inbounding to Joel Ayayi to kill the last of the clock.
Petrusev had 22 points and 15 rebounds for Gonzaga (8-0), which blew a 17-point first-half lead in a matchup of neighboring-state programs playing three time zones away from their Pacific Northwest campuses.
Pritchard finished with 17 points to lead the Ducks (6-1), who erased a huge deficit for the second time in as many days — only this time in a losing effort.
It was less than 24 hours earlier that Oregon completed a comeback from 19 down in the second half to hold off Myles Powell and No. 13 Seton Hall in a down-to-the-wire finish to end the tournament’s first day. Afterward, coach Dana Altman expressed concern about the Ducks having a short turnaround to the afternoon game after expending so much energy rallying past the Pirates.
His concerns seemed justified when Oregon found itself in another hole right from the tip, making just 3 of 14 shots as Gonzaga ran out to a 24-7 lead.
But Oregon cut into the gap by halftime, then took its first lead midway through the second half.
Then, after King’s High School grad Corey Kispert appeared to have the Zags on the brink of a win with back-to-back 3-pointers late in regulation, Chris Duarte hit two free throws with 7.3 seconds left in regulation to tie it and ultimately force the OT in another tense finish.
The Bulldogs move on to Friday’s championship game against Michigan at 11 a.m. PST.
The Ducks play in Friday’s third-place game against No. 6 North Carolina at 8:30 a.m. A win would’ve mean Oregon would face Michigan this season. The squads are set for a Dec. 14 clash in Ann Arbor, Michigan.