Rui Hachimura’s short jumper with half a second left lifted top-ranked Gonzaga to an 81-79 win over in-state rival Washington on Wednesday night.
Hachimura had 26 points for Gonzaga (9-0), which has won 12 of its past 13 games against the Huskies.
Washington missed a halfcourt shot as the final buzzer sounded.
Jaylen Nowell scored 26 for Washington (6-3), which was in the preseason Top 25 before losing at No. 8 Auburn.
Washington’s zone defense slowed down the high-scoring Bulldogs. They were held well below their season average of 98 points per game, which ranked second in the nation.
Hachimura had 18 points as Gonzaga took a 40-30 halftime lead.
Washington shot just 39 percent in the first period, while Gonzaga shot 41 percent and sank all 10 of its free throws.
Washington opened the second half with a 12-2 run, and Jaylen Nowell’s 3-pointer tied the score at 42. Nowell followed with another 3 for a 45-42 lead, as Gonzaga made just one of its first 11 shots in the second.
Gonzaga replied with a 7-0 run for a 49-45 advantage.
The teams traded a flurry of baskets, and a pair by Brandon Clarke gave Gonzaga a 65-58 lead.
Nowell’s basket cut it to 79-75 with a minute left, and Matisse Thybulle’s bucket trimmed the deficit to two.
Nowell went to the free throw line with 9.4 seconds left and tied the score at 79.
Washington: The Huskies held their previous six opponents under 70 points. … Thybulle was the only player in the nation averaging at least 2.5 blocks and 2.8 steals per game. … Noah Dickerson averaged 20 points in his previous four games. … The Huskies were averaging seven blocks per game.
Gonzaga: The Zags came in 35-18 against members of the Pac-12 under coach Mark Few. … Gonzaga entered with four starters averaging in double figures, and two more scoring better than eight points per game.
Washington hosts crosstown rival Seattle on Sunday.
Gonzaga gets a major test when it plays No. 7 Tennessee in Phoenix on Sunday.
Source: The Associated Press