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.