Strawther scores 23 as No. 6 Gonzaga beats Xavier 88-84

Julian Strawther scored 23 points, including 10 in the finals 4:07, and No. 6 Gonzaga defeated Xavier 88-84 in the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament third place match.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Julian Strawther scored 23 points, including 10 in the final 4-07, and No. 6 Gonzaga defeated Xavier 88-84 in Sunday’s third-place match of the Phil Knight Legacy Men’s Tournament.

Each of Gonzaga’s starters achieved double-digit results. Drew Timme and Anton Watson each had 16 points. Nolan Hickman finished the tournament with 14 and Rasir Bolton with 13 points and six assists.

“I’m guessing my cap,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said of Strawther. “I watched him as a high school student in Las Vegas and what he became as a player is a testament to Gonzaga and her staff. And it really is a tribute to Julian.”

Timme struggled in the first half but his teammates kept feeding him.

“He told us, ‘I’ll fight, carry me,’ and we said, ‘No, we’ll put the ball in your lie,’ and I thought he did a great job,” Strawther said.

Jack Nunge scored a game-high 25 points for Xavier (4-3) and Colby Jones had 22.

“I don’t think we really shut Nunge down in the end, he just wasn’t getting any shots,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few.

The Musketeers took a 71-63 lead on KyKy Tandy’s knight with 6:21 to go. But the Bulldogs (5-2) responded with an 8-0 run.

Timme’s two foul shots tied it at 71 with 4:47 remaining.

In the last five minutes, the teams exchanged the lead several times.

Strawthers 3 put Gonzaga back in the lead 76-75 with 3:18 to go. Watson then converted a floater and Strawther hit another 3 to make it 81-75 with 1:39 left.

“Our inability to get rebounds and our inability to get important stops plagues us against this type of competition,” Miller said. “We can get through the games in November, play against others and still win, but not here against the teams we just played against. You will be exposed if you cannot defend yourself.”


Gonzaga: Ball motion was key to Gonzaga’s attack. Gonzaga had 23 assists in 31 shots compared to just 17 for Xavier.

Xavier: Security guard Adam Kunkel was scratched after suffering a head injury.


Gonzaga: Takes on Baylor on Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Xavier: hosts Southeast Louisiana on Wednesday. Strawther scores 23 as No. 6 Gonzaga beats Xavier 88-84

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