Las Vegas, NV – St. Mary’s entered the West Coast Conference tournament as the No. 1 seed but that didn’t hold up as No. 2-seeded Gonzaga ran away from the start and rolled to a 77-51 win. Drew Timme had his way inside for the Zags and finished with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting and added six rebounds. Anton Watson helped out with nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Gonzaga had three other players in double-figures: Malachi Smith (14), Nolan Hickman (12) and Julian Strawther (10). The two teams had split their season series with St. Mary’s winning the first game79-78 in overtime, and the Gonzaga returning the favor with a 77-68 home win in the last conference game of the season for both teams.
Gonzaga came out of the gate hot and went on a 9-point run to take a 14-4 lead. Another 9-point run, capped by a Timme basket inside, extended their lead to 28-12. St. Mary’s couldn’t get much closer in the rest of the half, as the Zags closed the half on a 6-0 run to take a 37-19 lead into the break. The Gaels has no answer in guarding Timme in the post. Timme scored 14 first half points on 6-of-8 shooting and added five rebounds. Gonzaga shot 54 percent from the field compared to St. Mary’s 28 percent. The Gaels were only 1-of-7 from deep while the Zags shot 3-of-6 from downtown. Gonzaga’s 6-8 Watson lead both teams at the break with seven rebounds and three assists.
The second half didn’t go much better for the Gaels as they never made this a game. A Watson jumper doubled the score for the Zags as they took a 48-24 lead five minutes into the half. Gonzaga extended the lead to 30 points (59-29) with over nine minutes remaining. Gonzaga then coasted to the finish line in their 26-point win. Timme, who played only 20 minutes tonight as the game got out of hand early, became Gonzaga’s All-Time leading scorer. His 2,210 points passed Frank Burgess, who graduated in 1961.
The stats reflected the non-competitive nature of the game with Gonzaga having a 57%-to-33% edge in shooting while making 8-of-14 from deep compared to the Gaels’ 4-of-16. They had a rebounding edge of seven and had nine more assists than St. Mary’s.
The All-Tournament team consisted of Gonzaga’s Timme (Most Outstanding Player), Anton Watson and Julian Strawther, Alex Ducas of St, Mary’s and Khalil Shabazz (San Francisco).