Back with the game story from Gonzaga’s 83-58 win over Saint Mary’s on Monday. Like Sunday’s victory over Santa Clara, Gonzaga was stellar on both ends of the court.
My unedited game story is below.
By Jim Meehan
Gonzaga dominated with stingy defense and balanced offense. Saint Mary’s, thought to be GU’s biggest threat, particularly with the return of Patty Mills, became the latest victim as the Bulldogs put six players in double figures and rolled to an 83-58 victory in the WCC Tournament championship game Monday in front of another sell-out crowd of 7,845 at the Orleans Arena.
“Incredible performance, incredible weekend by our guys,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. “From a coach’s standpoint, when they put it all together at both ends, defensively and offensively, it’s a great feeling and a beautiful sight to see.”
The 12th-ranked Bulldogs (26-5), who went undefeated in the WCC regular season with 10 of 14 wins by double digits, clobbered fourth-seeded
Gonzaga, winners of nine straight and 18 of its last 19, earned its 11th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The brackets will be announced Sunday.
“It looks like it,” said senior forward Josh Heytvelt, when asked if Gonzaga was playing at a level similar to its dominating performance in
The Zags led from start to finish against the Gaels, whose NCAA Tournament hopes were dealt a serious setback. In fact, GU led before tipoff. Saint Mary’s was called for a technical foul for dunking in warm-ups and Matt Bouldin made 1 of 2 free throws. Steven Gray’s bank shot made it 13-3.
Mills, who missed five weeks after having surgery on his broken right (shooting) hand, played well in Sunday’s win over
He missed his first seven shots. He couldn’t connect on open looks from the perimeter and he came up empty on drives to the basket. He forced several shots that resulted in wild misses. He scored five points on 2-of-16 shooting.
“When you’re shooting as bad as that you have to focus on something else (but) I couldn’t do that either,” Mills said.
Gonzaga had no problem multi-tasking. The Bulldogs endured a ragged stretch offensively in the first half and closed with a 14-6 run to take a 13-point lead. Tournament MVP Micah Downs made both of his 3-pointers, Bouldin added another 3 and Heytvelt capped it with a three-point play.
Saint Mary’s made 8 of 34 first-half shots (23.5 percent). The Gaels continued to struggle, finishing 19 of 66 (28.8 percent). Diamon Simpson had 19 points and eight offensive rebounds. Omar Samhan added 17 points. They combined to make 12 of 27 attempts; the rest of the team was 7 of 39.
“We came out and pressured the heck out of them,” said
The Bulldogs made 20 of 29 second-half shots. Heytvelt was 5 of 5 in the second half and finished with a team-high 17 points. Bouldin had 14 points, seven assists and no turnovers in 37 minutes. Jeremy Pargo added 10 points and four assists. Demetri Goodson (11 points) and Gray (10) led a 23-point effort by the bench.
“People were hitting jump shots, layups. People were driving and kicking (the ball out),” Heytvelt said. “There was no way for Saint Mary’s to be able to guard us.”
Gonzaga’s balance made for some tough choices for All-Tournament voters. Downs was joined by Bouldin, Pargo, Simpson and