Saint Mary's upsets No. 1 Gonzaga to win WCC title

15 Mars, 2019, 15:22 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
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Exhausted of all the chatter, the Gaels put an emphatic end to it, popping the bubble by taking down a team no one outside their program thought they could beat.

Gonzaga were expected to dominate after winning 30 of their 33 games this season, but St Mary's, headed by Sydney centre Jordan Hunter and Hobart guard Tanner Krebs, never faltered. "But we didn't need to pull a miracle". "I don't know that we were shying away from her, but one of the things we do is that we're strong". The Gaels held the nation's highest-scoring team to just 47 and forced the Zags into 2-of-17 shooting from 3-point range.

Jordan Ford added 19 points for the Gaels (22-11), who earn the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. "You've got to believe against those guys", Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said on ESPN after the game. Gonzaga had six assists after finishing with 26 in the WCC semifinals against Pepperdine.

Brandon Clarke led Gonzaga with 16 points and Hachimura was held to nine, almost 11 under his average.

The top-ranked Bulldogs have been unbeatable in conference play, as they own a ideal 16-0 record against their rivals.

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Two of those wins came against Saint Mary's: 66-55 in Moraga and 94-46 in Spokane. Gonzaga has 49 assists on 98 field goals (50 percent) over its past three outings while Saint Mary's has assists on 23 of 73 field goals (31.5 percent) during its past three games. In fact, Gonzaga scored only 24 points in the first half, setting a new season-low. We were able to keep them out of transition and take care of the ball.

The Zags also had a hard time containing Krebs. Saint Mary's did it with second-leading scorer Malik Fitts limited to less than a minute because of foul trouble. This group's tough. They're resilient, we were 3-4 to start the year and a lot of people didn't think we were good.

Saint Mary's played arguably its best game of the season at the best possible time.

Any room to maneuver on the NCAA Tournament's bubble has probably become a little tighter. The versatile 6-foot-8 Japanese forward entered the WCC title game averaging 20.1 points and is a top All-America contender.

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