Gonzaga hit his ticket, categorically, for the Final Four.
The Bulldogs were almost untouchable throughout their entire Elite Eight fight against the Trojans, taking a 7-0 lead and winning 85-66. Three players scored in double digits for Gonzaga, including a 23-point record from Drew Timme. He was by far the best player on the field, adding five rebounds, four assists, three steals and 10 of 19 shots.
He was joined by Jalen Suggs (18 points) and Corey Kispert (18 points) as double-digit scorers; Kispert had eight rebounds, while Suggs had 10 rebounds and eight assists. Their combined might overwhelmed the Trojans and ensured that Gonzaga was never left behind in the game. The result was Gonzaga’s second place in the Final Four and his record of 30-0.
USC fell behind early but, to their credit, played better in the second half. Five Trojans starters scored in double digits, including 36 combined from brothers Mobley Evan (19 points) and Isaiah (17). Team stats suggest a game closer than the score suggests: a testament to Few’s dominance in the first half, even when they slowed down considerably after the break.
Sporting News followed live score updates and highlights from Gonzaga vs. USC in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Follow the full results of the Elite Eight game:
Gonzaga score against USC
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Second half: Gonzaga 85, USC 66
9:17 p.m .: Final: Gonzaga 85, USC 66. Absolute destruction.
9:16 p.m .: And there is another Suggs 3, just for fun. It’s 83-64 Gonzaga with less than a minute left.
9:12 p.m .: Gonzaga is content to let time pass on each of his possessions. Less than two minutes now leads 80-62.
9:06 p.m .: And there is the end media expiration time. Zags lead 78-58 with 3:45 remaining.
9:05 p.m .: USC is now targeting a full press. It’s not even desperation at this point, but the Trojans have to try something down 76-58 and approaching the expiration of the final media.
9 p.m .: USC is playing better in the second half, to its credit. But Trojans can’t take the lead as long as Gonzaga keeps shooting like Aaron Cook’s 3-point deep. This makes 74-55 Bulldogs with 6:24 remaining.
8:57 p.m .: Kispert suffered a foul on his layup attempt and will take two hits when the game returns after the media timeout. The Zags lead 70-50 with 7:49 remaining.
8:54 p.m .: A Trojans player could be heard saying, “Hey, I’m big open man” after a failed shot attempt. Been that kind of night for USC.
8:48 p.m .: A layup Timme gives him 21 points and does it 64-43 Gonzaga at the second media timeout (11:06).
8:44 p.m .: And it is quickly followed by a Kispert 3. He now has 15 points on 5 shots on 13 and 6 rebounds.
8:44 p.m .: USC are still behind, but Gonzaga lets them come back: the Zags are 3 of 9 to shoot for halftime and have two turnovers.
8:40 p.m .: It is 58-39 Zags at the first media timeout (14:23)
8:31 p.m .: A few thunderous dunks from Timme and Ayayi show that the second half is just a formality. It is 56-34 Zags with 17:44 on the left in the regulation.
8:30 p.m .: And it’s quickly followed by a Kispert 3 to do it 52-32 Zags.
8:28 p.m .: Gonzaga misses his first possession and Evan Mobley gets a dunk on the other end to succeed 49-32 Gonzaga.
First Half: Gonzaga 49, USC 30
8:12 p.m .: And, according to the TBS broadcast: Smith is stable, still dizzy, but will not be taken to the hospital.
8:08 p.m .: Some statistics of the first semester:
- Field goals: Gonzaga 20 percent (54.1 percent); USC 11 to 31 (35.5 percent)
- 3 points: Gonzaga 2 for 8 (25 percent); USC 3 per 10 (30 per cent)
- Free throws: Gonzaga 7 percent (77.8 percent); USC 5 for 6 (83.3 percent)
- Rebounds: Gonzaga 21; USC 14
- Help: Gonzaga 13; USC 5
- Fly: Gonzaga 6; USC 0
- Blocks: Gonzaga 2; USC 0
- Turnover: Gonzaga 1; USC 7
- Biggest lead: Gonzaga 21; USC 0
And here’s a look at Timme, who absolutely dominated this game: 15 points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals, 7 of 12 shots.
8:05 p.m .: USC have potential halftime final possession, down 49-30 at the Zags. They desperately need a score here … and it’s a defensive save from Gonzaga.
8 p.m .: Kispert and Suggs score a 3 and 2 pointer respectively to block the USC race. It is 41 to 24 zags.
7:55 p.m .: USC’s Tahj Eady and Isaiah Mobley pair 3s in an 8-0 run to reduce the deficit to 36-23 with 4:25 left in half – certainly significant, but not insurmountable. However, they might have to dump a few more to make it a real game.
7:51 p.m .: A Suggs 3 pointer and Kipert 2 do this 36-15 zags. Note: USC has seven turnovers compared to zero for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs currently dominate all facets of the game.
19:44: Here’s an interesting piece of information from the Zags’ score: 22 of their 27 points come from inside the paint. They are currently 12 out of 21 to shoot.
7:40 p.m .: Suggest to make it ugly:
7:38 p.m .: USC had four defenders in the paint and Timme bypassed them all to make it 23-8; it has a vertex of 13 points. It’s a 16-2 run by the Zags with 11:28 left in the half.
7:35 p.m .: Evan Mobley gets another dunk to break a 10-0 run from Gonzaga – followed by another short bucket from Timme. He has the last eight points for Gonzaga. As noted on the telecast, USC isn’t doing it double because he’s such a good passer, allowing him to score pretty much at will.
7:32 p.m .: And there’s Timme, scoring on three straight possessions: a 14-footer, a transition dunk and then another transition layup. The last bucket does 17-4 Gonzaga and gives Timme nine points. He is playing out of his mind. USC timeout.
7:31 p.m .: William Henderson is now for Smith and we are back in action.
7:31 p.m .: Smith is now on his feet, but it’s definitely the last we’ve seen of him for this game. He is taken awake and alert. That’s good, at least.
7:28 p.m .: They take out the stretcher.
19:26: Oh oh. One of the officials, Bert Smith, collapsed on the court. He seems to be talking on the floor but he is lying on his back.
7:25 p.m .: Anton Watson of Gonzaga is called for the foul on a pass inbounds to Evan Mobley. USC gets the bucket to do it 7-4.
7:22 p.m .: Evan Mobley puts USC on the board for the first time with a put-up layup. It seems he accidentally nudged Ayayi in the sinking face; the Zags junior is on the ground checking his teeth. Looks like he’ll be fine.
7:18 p.m .: USC coach Andy Enfield calls his first timeout at 6:03 p.m. in the first half after the Zags get another turnover – their third in four possessions – and score the score 7-0. Bulldogs playing as the seed at the start.
7:17 p.m .: And there is also Timme, who recovers the turnover from a wrong pass. Zags get the basket again and do it 3-0 quickly.
7.15 p.m .: Timme gets a steal and tries to score on the quick break; he misses, gets the rebound and is the victim of a foul on the attempt. He will attempt two free throws.
7:00 p.m .: This evening’s starters:
Gonzaga starters: Suggs, No, Nembhard, Kispert and Timme.
USC: Eaddy, Peterson, White, E. Mobley, I. Mobley.
– Jim Meehan (@SRJimm) March 30, 2021
How to watch Gonzaga vs. USC
Tuesday’s Elite Eight game between Gonzaga and USC is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. ET (4:15 p.m. PT), followed by Michigan v UCLA.
Both games will be broadcast nationally on TBS; Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner and Dana Jacobson will call USC-Gonzaga, while Brian Anderson, Jim Jackson and Allie LaForce will call UCLA-Michigan. You can stream the game on March Madness Live, the online home of every game of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
March Madness Final Four Calendar 2021
Saturday April 3
NCAA Tournament National Championship
Monday April 5
|Game 67||9 p.m.||CBS, fuboTV|