Back to the Sweet Sixteen; Gonzaga remains perfect in quest for first title

Gonzaga
(AP File)

INDIANAPOLIS — The Gonzaga Bulldogs remain perfect on the season thanks to a 87-71 win over Oklahoma Monday afternoon advancing the Zags to their sixth straight Sweet Sixteen.

Drew Timme was a workhorse for the Zags leading the way with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert both chipped in with 16 as four Bulldogs were in double figures.

With the win, Gonzaga moves on to face the winner of the Ohio vs. Creighton game later today.

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Timme was a force on the interior, finishing 9-for-12 from the field and 12-of-14 from the free-throw line. By playing a physical game and putting his basketball IQ to the test, the sophomore from Richardson, TX reaffirmed his considerable development since joining the program.

Being the well-oiled machine that they are, the Bulldogs did an excellent job of getting to the free-throw line. They hit 88.5% of a whopping 26 free-throw attempts to Oklahoma’s 66.7% on 12 attempts. Additionally, Gonzaga made good use of its size by winning the rebound battle by an eight-board margin.

Though his 16 points were crucial to the Zags’ ability to compete in this one, Suggs shot just 5-of-13 from the field, missed all but one of his six 3-point attempts and committed four turnovers to three assists. It wasn’t the best performance by the freshman guard, who can use this NCAA Tournament run to accelerate his NBA Draft stock. At this point, Suggs is considered by most to be a consensus lottery pick in the top 5 of this year’s draft class.

If Suggs wants any chance to leap into the top 3 over players like Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State or USC’s Evan Mobley, he needs to put on a big performance in the Sweet 16 and beyond. Regardless, his team is in good shape and right now, his focus is on one thing: Winning Gonzaga’s first NCAA Championship.

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