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Rasir Bolton’s game-winner lifts Gonzaga to thrilling 77-75 win over San Francisco

Rasir Bolton’s game-winning putback with eight seconds left pushed No. 9 Gonzaga to a 77-75 victory over San Francisco Thursday night at War Memorial Gym.

The Zags (13-3, 2-0 WCC) overcame a double-digit halftime deficit behind the efforts of Bolton, who scored a team-high 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-7 from deep.

For the Dons (11-7, 0-3 WCC), they’ve dropped their first three conference games despite thoroughly winning the rebounding battle, 45-26, and knocking down 10 3-pointers.

While both teams exchanged blows throughout the first half, the Dons had the advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Zags 26-11 while scoring 16 second-chance points off nine offensive rebounds.

Fueled by its leading scorer Khalil Shabazz, San Francisco led by double-digits following a 13-4 run. The All-WCC selection scored 13 points, grabbed a team-best seven rebounds and knocked down four of his team’s eight first-half 3-pointers.

Trailing by as many as 12 points, Mark Few’s squad slowly but surely battled back against San Francisco.

After knocking down the game’s first basket, Gonzaga battled from behind throughout the night before Bolton’s heroics at the finish. The 6-foot-3 guard helped trim the deficit to three on two separate occasions before a steal led to a breakaway layup for Hickman to tie the game with just over two minutes remaining.

Tyrell Roberts scored two of his team-high 18 points on a turnaround jumper in the paint to give the Dons the lead back.

Anton Watson answered on the other end with a two-hand dunk over Volodymyr Marktovetskyy, though the senior wasn’t able to give the Zags the lead with a free throw.

On the following possession, Bolton cleaned up a missed layup attempt from Timme to Gonzaga a two-point lead with eight seconds left. San Francisco never got a shot off on its last possession.

While both teams exchanged blows throughout the first half, the Dons had the advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Zags 26-11 while scoring 16 second-chance points off nine offensive rebounds.

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