Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s score: Bulldogs demolish Gaels to win fourth straight WCC Tournament title


Gonzaga left little doubt about who runs the WCC on Tuesday as the No. 9 Bulldogs throttled No. 16 Saint Mary’s 77-51 in the WCC Tournament title game to win the season series against the Gaels and enter next week’s NCAA Tournament with momentum after its fourth straight conference tournament title game win. Star forward Drew Timme scored 18 to pace the Zags while surpassing Frank Burgess as Gonzaga’s all-time leading scorer and adding another title to his impressive collegiate resume.

Saint Mary’s entered the WCC Tournament as the No. 1 seed over the No. 2 seed Zags after the teams shared the regular season title. The Gaels won the tiebreaker for seeding by having a higher NET ranking entering the tournament, but Gonzaga made it clear in the third meeting of the season who the better team is by limiting the Gaels to 33.3% shooting while having a great offensive night of their own. The Bulldogs shot 58% and made 8 of 14 attempts from 3-point range.

The Zags opened up a 10-point lead in the game’s first seven minutes and never looked back, taking a 37-19 lead into halftime and growing it to 37 points late in the second half. Unlike in the first meeting when Saint Mary’s mounted a second-half comeback and won 78-70 in overtime, the Gaels could muster no heroics this time. Logan Johnson led Saint Mary’s with 20 points while star freshman guard Aidan Mahaney finished with seven.

Both teams entered the game in great position for the NCAA Tournament with Gonzaga projected as a No. 3 seed in Jerry Palm’s Bracketology and Saint Mary’s projected as a No. 5 seed. Winning the WCC Tournament, however, at least raises the possibility of a Gonzaga securing a No. 2 seed.

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