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Furious GU comeback falls short

Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot takes a hit.  (Associated Press)
Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot takes a hit. (Associated Press)

Trailing by 20, Bulldogs fight back to put scare in No. 13 Texas A&M

LAS VEGAS – Tanisha Smith scored 20 points, and Tyra White added 18 to help No. 13 Texas A&M beat Gonzaga 80-76 on Sunday night in the Las Vegas Hoops Classic.

The Aggies (9-1) built a 20-point lead before surviving a late rally by the Bulldogs (9-4) in the final 10 minutes.

Courtney Vandersloot scored 16 points, and Heather Bowman added 15 for the Zags.

Trailing 68-48 with 11 minutes left, Gonzaga went on a 28-10 run to close to 78-76 on Tiffanie Shives’ 3-pointer with 30.4 seconds left. After White made one of two free throws with 25.4 seconds left, Vandersloot turned the ball over and Damitra Buchanan hit a free throw to seal the win.

Gonzaga’s rally included a three-minute scoring drought by the Aggies as the Bulldogs rallied from a 71-55 deficit with seven minutes remaining to close to within 71-60 with roughly four minutes remaining. By the time Shives’ hit her 3-pointer with half a minute left, the Bulldogs had scored 16 points in only 3:30.

Gonzaga lost to No. 6 Baylor 70-49 on Saturday in the tournament’s first night.