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Gonzaga Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

No stopping Gonzaga

Zags reach 13th consecutive WCC championship game

LAS VEGAS – Welcome to March basketball. High-pressure games, physical, grinding, hard fouls, floor burns. Hard-fought wins, season-alter ing losses. Top-seeded Gonzaga marched on Sunday night, setting the tone early and then quelling a Loyola Marymount comeback to claim a 77-62 victory in the West Coast Conference Tournament semi finals at the Orleans Arena in front of 7,941, the vast majority support ing the Zags. ———————- ———————- The 18th-ranked Bulldogs (26-5) will face second-seeded Saint Mary’s, a 69-55 winner over No. 3 Portland, for the title tonight at 6. GU has played in 13 straight ———————- ———————- tournament title games. “We knew we were facing a team that was very confident and hot,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “They took it to us down there two weeks ago and they’ve played well since then. It’s kind of basketball in March. It’s probably not going to be real pretty, but I thought we were very effective.” Nobody embodied that more than Gonzaga junior guard Steven Gray. He came in still feeling the effects of a bug that kept him on the sideline for the second half of Tuesday’s win over Cal State-Ba — Jump from page 1 to page 3 — kersfield. He got off to a blistering start, but then fell for a Drew Viney pump-fake and took a hard spill on his right side in front of Gonzaga’s bench. Few initially thought Gray might have broken his elbow. Less than two min utes later, Gray’s elbow was taped and he was asking to return to the game. Two possessions later, he got knocked down on a drive and made both free throws. More pain was in store. Trying to help defend on a lob pass, Gray swiped at the ball, but missed and hit the backboard, scraping and bloodying a couple of the fingernails on his right (shooting) hand. “That lasted a lot longer than the elbow,” Gray said. “Burning and throbbing. The elbow (pain) kind of faded away.” Gray’s 14 points and four assists staked Gonzaga to a 41-25 halftime lead. LMU (18-15) didn’t go away. Playing their third game in three days, the ———————- ———————- Lions closed within six twice, but Robert Sacre made a pair of free throws and Bol Kong connected on a 3-pointer to hike Gonza ga’s lead to 66-55. Matt Bouldin, one of sev eral Zags in early foul trou ble, scored six of his 12 points in the final five min utes to help the Bulldogs pull away. After misfiring at the free-throw line for most of the second half, Gonzaga made seven straight while rebuilding its lead. “They really got after us,” Lions coach Max Good said. “Like the good team they are, they came back and responded.” Elias Harris scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half. Gray finished with 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Gonzaga shot 52 percent from the field while holding LMU to 36.7 percent. Gonzaga had 15 as sists. The Lions had four. Manny Arop appeared to hurt his foot near the 14- minute mark of the second half. Few said the freshman wing might miss tonight’s game. He was scheduled ———————- ———————- for X-rays, but “it didn’t look good,” Few said. Few tied Hank Anderson for first place on the Gon zaga list with 290 career coaching wins. Gonzaga 77, LMU 62  FG FT Reb LMU (18-15) Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Hamilton 22 3-9 4-6 2-4 0 3 10 Viney 36 6-14 2-2 2-8 0 4 15 Young 29 5-11 2-2 2-3 1 5 12 DeBois 31 4-9 0-0 2-3 1 5 9 Teel 38 3-8 8-10 3-4 2 3 14 Kalipinde 11 0-2 0-0 2-3 0 1 0 Osborne 6 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 3 0 Diederich 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Davis 21 1-7 0-0 1-2 0 1 2 Totals 200 22-60 16-20 14-32 4 27 62  Percentages: FG .367. FT .800. 3-Point Goals: 2-13, .154 (DuBois 1-2, Viney 1-4, Kalipinde 0-1, Teel 0-1, Young 0-2, Davis 0-3) Team Re bounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 3 (Hamilton 2, Vi ney). Turnovers: 12 (Hamilton 2, Teel 3, DuBois 2, Young 3, Kalipinde, Osborne) Steals: 9 (Viney 4, Teel, DuBois 2, Young, Davis). Technical Fouls: None.  FG FT Reb Gonzaga (26-5) Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Harris 32 4-4 6-8 1-3 0 2 16 Sacre 17 3-6 2-3 0-1 0 5 8 Goodson 37 2-7 4-5 1-4 4 1 8 Bouldin 29 4-9 4-6 2-5 3 3 12 Gray 31 6-10 5-10 1-6 7 4 18 Arop 22 2-4 0-0 3-8 0 2 4 Vilarino 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Olynyk 1 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 Hart 1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Kong 24 3-7 2-2 1-1 1 1 9 Foster 5 1-1 0-2 0-1 0 1 2 Totals 200 25-48 23-36 9-37 15 19 77  Percentages: FG .521. FT .639. 3-Point Goals: 4-9, .444 (Harris 2-2, Gray 1-2, Kong 1-4, Arop 0-1) Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 3 (Sacre 2, Olynyk). Turnovers: 14 (Harris, Sacre, Bouldin 5, Gray, Goodson 3, Fsoter, Olynyk 2) Steals: 3 (Sacre, Gray 2). Technical Fouls: ———————- +1 ———————- None. Halftime– Gonzaga 41-25. A–7,941.
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