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Amna Subhan | | November 11, 2022

No. 2 Gonzaga survives Michigan State men's basketball in the Armed Forces Classic

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In front of thousands of veterans in the Armed Forces Classic, No. 2 Gonzaga survived Michigan State, pulling out the victory 64-63.

It was a battle until the final buzzer on the USS Abraham Lincoln. The Zags overcame a double-digit second-half deficit to stave off a loss to an unranked opponent. 

Drew Timme, despite a difficult first half, led the game in scoring 22 (14 in the second) to go along with 13 rebounds and four assists. z

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Michigan State came out in camo green eager to pounce on the No. 2 team in the country. The Spartans scored 13 points off 18 turnovers. That, paired with the Zags shooting a low percentage, created a supreme advantage early.

Halfway through the second, Gonzaga woke up, going on an 11-2 run to close the gap, taking its first lead since 15-14 late in the second. 

Spartans leading scorer Mady Sissoko had an early 10 points in the first, but couldnโ€™t build on that momentum much like his teammates. He finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, fouling out with under left to play. 

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Both teams missed multiple free throws, but Michigan had a slight advantage, edging Gonzaga's shooting percentage, 64% to 63%.

The environment, while exciting, created certain unusual variables for both opponents. For the entirety of the first half, the setting San Diego sun created a shooting barrier, but it was exciting to have this classic back after a three-year hiatus.

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