Gonzaga falls to Texas Tech 75-69 in Elite Eight after back-and-forth battle

When the country’s most efficient offense met the country’s most efficient defense Saturday afternoon, there were no surprises. Gonzaga and Texas Tech battled back-and-forth in a game that featured nine lead changes and nine ties in the first half alone.

It was a slow start on offense for both teams, but when the nerves went away, the rim opened up for both teams as the second half wound down. Josh Perkins, Killian Tillie and Zach Norvell Jr. hit from three, but Texas Tech responded nearly each time.

Gonzaga’s defense forced TTU’s leading scorer Jarrett Culver to take tough shots, he drained three of eleven at halftime.

The Red Raiders almost held the Zags scoreless for the final four minutes of the first half outside of some Rui Hachimura free throws, but Zach Norvell Jr. gave up a jumper to hand it off to Brandon Clarke inside for a two-handed jam. That helped Gonzaga take a 37-35 advantage into halftime.

Hachimura came out of halftime just as aggressive as he was in the first half, draining two mid-range jumpers out of the gate. He finished the game as the leading scorer, and three Bulldogs total scored in double figures.

The final 12 minutes were sloppy for Gonzaga’s offense. A lot of tough shots would not fall, and turnovers forced by Texas Tech’s daunting defense helped the Red Raiders take a late lead.

TTU finished off the game, and moves on to the Final Four.