NCAA on Sling: Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga In The WCC Final

Mar 08, 2016 by Scott Ross

Gaels @ Bulldogs (9pm ET Tuesday, ESPN)

The Saint Mary’s Gaels jumped out to a 15-4 lead in the first six minutes of play against the Pepperdine Waves in their WCC semifinal showdown and never looked back. A Calvin Henderson three-pointer made it 44-22 with a minute to play in the half. From there, it was smooth sailing as the Waves never got closer than 10 before finally falling 81-66. Saint Mary’s sophomore guard Emmett Naar played 39 minutes, scoring 14 points and dropping nine dimes. The Gaels are 27-4 overall and 17-3 in WCC play.

The ‘Zags got more trouble from the BYU Cougars than they’d anticipated as they trailed 50-49 early in the second half before an Eric McClellan three-pointer put them up for good to an 88-84 victory that sent them to their 19 consecutive WCC tourney final. The 2015 Consensus All-American Kyle Wiltjer was once again the star of the game for the Bulldogs, scoring 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting, and pulling down eight rebounds. Domantas Sabonis put up his twentieth double-double of the season, going 18-14. Gonzaga is now 25-7 and 17-3 in WCC play as they seek to win a fourth consecutive – 14th in 18 seasons – WCC tournament title.

Saint Mary’s is 2-0 against Gonzaga this season, winning 70-67 in January and 63-58 in February as the Gaels managed to contain Wiltjer, holding him to just 19 points on 8-of-23 shooting over the two games. The stakes are higher tonight, as the winner goes to the NCAA tournament.

Watch the St. Mary’s Gaels vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs at 9pm ET Tuesday on ESPN.

All stats courtesy ESPN and Basketball Reference.

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