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Difference makers: Julian Strawther delivers timely 3-pointers, helps lift Gonzaga to 88-81 win over BYU

Julian Strawther

Strawther rescuing Gonzaga against BYU with his outside shooting? Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? After hitting the winning 3-pointer on Gonzaga’s final possession in Provo, Utah, last month, the junior wing came alive inside the final 5 minutes of Saturday’s game at the Kennel. Strawther went to the bench with 9:22 remaining after picking up his fourth foul and returned with 4:21 left. The Las Vegas native immediately made a 3-pointer, followed with another to give GU a 74-73 lead, and made three free throws inside the final minute to help secure a victory. Strawther finished 4 of 9 from the 3-point line and scored a game-high 26 points to go with five rebounds.

Drew Timme

Timme played a variety of roles for Gonzaga: scorer, rebounder and distributor. Coming off a 20-point first half in Thursday’s win against San Francisco, Timme scored 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and made 5 of 6 from the line. Timme was on triple-double pace early with four points, three rebounds and three assists inside the game’s first 5 minutes. He finished with a season-high eight assists to go with a team-high seven rebounds.

Key moment

Things turned for the Zags when Strawther checked back into the game with less than 5 minutes remaining. BYU led 71-68 when the junior trotted to the scorers table, but the Cougars were outscored 20-10 in the final 4:21, largely thanks to Strawther’s late scoring. Of his 26 points, nine came inside the final 4:06. Rasir Bolton also made timely contributions down the stretch for Gonzaga, hitting a corner 3-pointer to extend the lead to 77-73 before making all six of his free throws inside the final minute. Hunter Sallis went to the free-throw line with 5 seconds left, making two more to seal the result.