Drew Timme had 22 points and 13 rebounds and led No. 2 Gonzaga in a spirited comeback from a 12-point deficit to a 64-63 win over Michigan State.
CORONADO, Calif. (AP) — Drew Timme had 22 points and 13 rebounds and led No. 2 Gonzaga in a spirited comeback from a 12-point deficit that led the Bulldogs to a 64-63 win over Michigan State on Friday night Flight deck of USS Abraham Lincoln at North Island Naval Air Station.
Timme hit an inside shot with 2:24 left for a 63-61 lead, Gonzaga’s first shot since the game began. The Zags scored just one more point when Timme took the second of two free throws with 1:51 left.
Gonzaga’s Julian Strawther was called up with 31 seconds left and Michigan State’s Jaden Akins was called up to travel missed a desperate 3-pointer on the buzzer.
Strawther had 13 points and nine rebounds and Nolan Hickman had 10 for Gonzaga (2-0).
Michigan State big man Mady Sissoko scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half but committed his third foul early in the second half and didn’t have much of an impact the rest of the way.
The Spartans (1-1) led 45-33 three minutes into the second half before Timme and the Zags pulled to 45-44 with an 11-0 run. Timme hit a spin move layup, got fouled and took the free throw, then fed Rasir Bolton for a baseline jumper to close within three points. Efton Reid III’s slam dunk put the Zags at 45-44.
Tyson Walker made a layup with 12:10 left to break MSU’s five-minute scoring drought.
As impressive as he was overall, Timme only caught four out of 10 free throws and could have given the Zags a cushion late in the game.
The game was played 11 years to the day after North Carolina defeated Michigan State on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson at North Island NAS, with then-President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle watching from the seat.
The teams wore camouflage uniforms with USA on the back. Just before the second half began, the crowd rose to lower the flag as the sun set. The 3,000 spectators consisted mainly of sailors from the aircraft carrier and fans of both teams.
Michigan State led 38-31 at halftime, largely due to the strength of the 6-foot-9 Sissoko’s strong inside game. Sissoko had three slam dunks in the last 5 minutes of the half including an alley oop pass from AJ Hoggard. His final two dunks helped the Spartans take control. Michigan State had back-to-back steals that had coach Tom Izzo pumping his fist emphatically.
Neither team was afraid to hoist 3-pointers, and each team made a shot from behind the arc in the first two minutes. The wind only appeared to affect a 3-point shot, as the six-story conning tower and scoreboard blocked most of the wind from the Pacific Ocean.
Michigan State: Coach Tom Izzo fell to 2-0 in aircraft carrier games in San Diego Bay. His ranked Spartans caught Gonzaga’s attention with a tough defense.
Gonzaga: Timme returned for his senior season in one last attempt to bring an elusive national title to Spokane.
Michigan State plays No. 4 Kentucky Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
Gonzaga plays at No. 12 Texas.
https://www.king5.com/article/sports/college/timmes-22-lead-no-2-zags-past-spartans-on-carrier-deck/281-89031b00-c501-48db-8f0d-4e284b5afe7d Timme’s 22 lead No. 2 Zags past Spartans on carrier deck