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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Xavier scores strange first-half bucket, just misses another

Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski (24) and Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss (5) defends against a shot by Xavier guard Malcolm Bernard (11) during the first half an NCAA Elite Eight game, Sat., March 25, 2017, in San Jose. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski (24) and Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss (5) defends against a shot by Xavier guard Malcolm Bernard (11) during the first half an NCAA Elite Eight game, Sat., March 25, 2017, in San Jose. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

SAN JOSE, Calif. – J.P. Macura’s three-quarter court heave at the end of the half was a split second too late, meaning a shot that did not count overshadowed an ever rarer one that did.

With 15 seconds left in the half, Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams tried to corral a defensive rebound with one hand while holding a box-out with the other. He ended up pounding the ball into the floor, and it bounced into the Zags basket.

By rule, the points must be given to the nearest opposing player during such a play, so congratulations are in order to Xavier’s RaShid Gaston. Nigel Williams-Goss quickly followed with a floater to give the Bulldogs a 49-39 lead.

Macura fired off his heave and the officials initially declared he got it off in time, but reversed the ruling upon review.

Shortly before the second half began, a referee began to tie his shoe on the press table and reflected on Williams’ bounce-bucket.

“I’ve never seen that in my life,” he mused. “In a game of horse, maybe.”



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