Julian Strawther says “THIS MY CITY” leading Gonzaga to Elite 8 after Drew Timme shatters NCAA Tournament records

Gonzaga’s junior guard, Julian Strawther, felt like he was in a movie after hitting a 3-pointer and a free throw in the last seven seconds to lead the team to a 79-76 victory over UCLA. Strawther, who grew up in Las Vegas, was only 4-of-14 shooting from the field and 2-of-7 from beyond the 3-point arc before making the game-winning shot. Gonzaga trailed UCLA 46-33 at halftime but managed to take a 10-point lead with 2:30 to play before the Bruins fought back to lead 76-75 with 12 seconds remaining.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few drew up a play featuring a dribble hand-off, and Strawther asked if he could shoot the ball if it came to him. Few gave him the go-ahead, and Strawther hit the shot, which he described as a clean look.

Gonzaga senior forward Drew Timme praised Strawther’s performance and said he was now the player’s No. 1 fan. Strawther’s father Lee, who was in the stands, was also thrilled with his son’s performance. Strawther lost his mother, Lourdes, to breast cancer when he was nine years old, and he has a tribute to her tattooed on his left arm and chest.

After the game, he ran to a corner of the court and screamed. “This is my city,” he screamed to the crowd in the postgame celebration. “This is my city.” In the locker room, he said he was still processing the moment and that it felt like a dream come true to make a shot like that, especially in March Madness and in his hometown of Las Vegas.

The tattoos on Strawther’s left arm and chest pay respect to his mother, Lourdes, who died of breast cancer when he was nine years old and was a star at Liberty High School in Southern Nevada. Consequently, as the final buzzer sounded and UCLA point player Tyger Campbell’s running 3-point effort bounced harmlessly away, Strawther went to a corner of the court and peered up into the bleachers while being surrounded by teammates.

“UCLA’s NCAA Tournament Run Ends in Heartbreaking Fashion Against Gonzaga – Déjà vu from Two Years Ago”

In a devastating repeat of history, Gonzaga crushed UCLA’s national title hopes with a 79-76 win in the Sweet 16. With six seconds left, Gonzaga’s Julian Strawther hit a 32-foot jumper to steal a seemingly secured victory from the Bruins.

The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for the senior trio of Jaime Jaquez Jr., Tyger Campbell, and David Singleton, who had hoped to lead their team to the Final Four. UCLA had taken a 13-point halftime lead, but they crumbled in the second half, failing to make a field goal for over 11 minutes and missing 11 straight shots. Gonzaga’s veteran center Drew Timme was unstoppable, scoring 36 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

The Bruins’ injuries may have played a role in their loss. Their best defensive player was on a scooter, their best big man was in street clothes, and they lost two key players earlier in the tournament. However, it may have been more than just injuries that caused UCLA’s downfall. Jaquez and Campbell, who had been carrying the team, shot a combined 17 of 41 from the field, and Campbell and Singleton didn’t make a basket in the second half.

Despite their early dominance, UCLA’s teamwork and experience deserted them, and they failed to battle for second chances, submitting to Gonzaga’s equally tough and veteran team. The loss was a stark contrast to their heroic run in the 2019 tournament, where they were underdogs and the loss was the beginning of a journey back to national relevance. This time, the defeat was the unsightly end of the road for the senior trio, who had hoped for a different outcome.

Amir Khosru

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A graduate in Linguistics Studies from Jahangirnagar University, hailing from the city of Khulna(Bangladesh). Currently working as a Content Writer who covers Combat Sports. Passionate in a lot of fields including (But not limited to) Reading, Gaming, Travelling, Strolling, Food, UFC, Anime, and whatnot!


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