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South Carolina and Gonzaga on the defensive in Final Four

South Carolina and Gonzaga on the defensive in Final Four

Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina.

SC kept it close down to the final seconds, but could not get a crucial hoop in the final 1:45 of the game when it was down one possession throughout.

Freshman Zach Collins delivered 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks in 23 minutes as Gonzaga knocked off SC, 77-73 in Glendale, Arizona. And on the next play, he scored on an old-fashioned 3-point play.

The Bulldogs' 7-footers, senior Przemek Karnowski and freshman Zach Collins, took care of things on both ends of the court, combining for 18 rebounds.

Gonzaga saw a 65-51 lead become a two-point deficit when SC went on a 16-0 run, but the Zags went back on top by as many as five down the stretch. Thornwell made a block and drew a charge in a momentum-changing sequence for the Gamecocks.

Gonzaga led by 14 points with about 11 minutes remaining.

But then the Gamecocks mounted a run, scoring 16 in a row at one point. He missed his second free throw on objective but Gonzaga's Zach Collins rebounded and made two free throws to clinch it.

The senior wasn't able to complete South Carolina's surprising tournament run, but he leaves Columbia having put together maybe the greatest postseason performance in school history.

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So Thronwell missed, and here SC appeared to catch a break. Alabama scored 90 in February, but it needed four overtimes. In the end however, it was ultimately not enough to knock off the No. 1 seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs, as the Zags triumphed over the Gamecocks 77-73.

SC rattled off a 16-0 run in the second half to take a 67-65 lead with 7:05 to play, but a Zach Collins 3-pointer and back-to-back Przemek Karnowski hoops flipped the game back for the Zags after the Gamecocks has seized control after missing it for the first 33 minutes of the game. Not to mention being a No. 7 seed out of a football conference. Its record in the NCAA Tournament entering this year's event was 4-9. 3 (Baylor) and 4 (Florida) seeds in the East Regional. "We had a nine-point lead and they got right back in", Vanderveer said.

Martin's program has gotten better every season since he arrived in 2012.

"To be playing the last game of the year, that's insane cool", Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.

Thornwell didn't score until the 6:25 mark of the first half. He left the game for the rest of the half.

The Gamecocks kept it as close as they did because of 12 first-half points off the bench.

They shot 58% in the first half, a stat that just isn't seen against SC. The key might have been that they attempted only three 3-pointers after the break, instead getting in transition more and attacking the offensive glass. P.J. Dozier had 17 points for the Gamecocks. That helped the Gamecocks stick with Gonzaga after the Bulldogs began the game shooting 60 percent at the first media timeout.

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