Zags Falter At the Finish Line in WCC Championship

Zags Fall 60-47 to Saint Mary’s in WCC Finals

Brandon Clarke led GU with 16 points

 

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — No. 1 Gonzaga fell to Saint Mary’s 60-47 in the West Coast Conference Tournament Championship Tuesday at the Orleans Arena.

 

Gonzaga (30-3) was led by Brandon Clarke with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go along with a team-high eight rebounds. Josh Perkins added 10 points and four assists.

 

The Bulldogs struggled to connect, shooting 37.5 percent from the floor, compared to the Gaels’ 45.1 percent. Saint Mary’s (22-11) out-rebounded the Bulldogs 34-27 and controlled the Zags inside with a 32-24 points in the paint advantage.

 

The Bulldogs opened the game with a 9-2 run, sparked by a trey from Corey Kispert 20 seconds in to the game. The Gaels responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game nine with 15:11 to go, the first of six ties in the first half. A layup from SMC’s Jordan Hunter at the 6:14 mark broke a 19-all tie, and Saint Mary’s outscored GU 6-5 over the final minutes of the first half to claim a 27-24 advantage at the half.

 

Gonzaga struggled to score in the second half, shooting 34.6 percent from the floor for 23 points. The Bulldogs twice cut Saint Mary’s lead to one but was never able to regain the lead. The Bulldogs’ final bucket came off a jumper from Clarke with 3:19 to go, and Saint Mary’s made its free throws down the stretch to seal the 60-47 win.

 

Saint Mary’s (22-11) was led by Jordan Ford with 17 points while Hunter finished with a double-double of 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Tanner Krebs chipped in 13.