PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Drew Timme hit a free throw with 20.6 seconds left in overtime and No. 8 Gonzaga survived Payton Pritchard’s shot for the win to beat No. 11 Oregon 73-72 on Thursday, securing a spot in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game.
Pritchard missed a jumper against 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 left, 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 thriller 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 while 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 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.
Oregon: Simply put, the Ducks have shown plenty of fight in their two-game stay so far in the Bahamas with pushing back from big deficits.
Gonzaga: The Zags are banged up as they try to close the three-games-in-three-days tournament. They didn’t have freshman Anton Watson, who was wearing a boot on his right foot after suffering an ankle sprain early in Wednesday’s win against Southern Miss. And coach Mark Few had described Tillie as a game-time decision going forward after he had swelling in his knee following a surgery in October. Tillie didn’t play in the Southern Miss game but had seven points Thursday.
Oregon: The Ducks will play in Friday’s third-place game against No. 6 North Carolina.
Gonzaga: The Bulldogs will play in Friday’s championship game against Michigan.