Freshman forward Elias Harris scored on an off-balance 8-footer in the lane with 12.6 seconds left, lifting Gonzaga to a wild 85-83 overtime win over Illinois on Saturday.
GU led by 21 in the first half and by eight at halftime, but the Illini (9-5) stormed back to lead by as many as eight in the second half. The Bulldogs (11-3), after a flurry of second-half turnovers, settled down late and took a 77-76 lead on Harris’ bucket with 46 seconds left in regulation.
Steven Gray added two free throws to make it GU 79-76, but Illinois’ Dominique Keller tied it with a wide-open 3-pointer, which came after the illini grabbed an offensive rebound. Demetri Goodson’s shot in the closing seconds was blocked and the game went to overtime.
Matt Bouldin’s 3-pointer tied it at 83 with 1:38 remaining. The Zags called timeout to set up the play for Harris, who caught the pass 15 feet away from the basket on the wing. He took one dribble into the lane and scored over Keller.
Illinois’ Brandon Paul missed a 3-point attempt and Harris pulled down the rebound as time expired.
Back with more in about 90 minutes.