Scores

Final

Saint Mary's 51

(27-6, 14-2 WCC)

(1) Gonzaga 65

(31-2, 16-0 WCC)

    Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

    9:00 PM ET, March 11, 2013

    Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada

    1 2 T
    SMC 29 2251
    #1GONZ 38 2765

    Top Performers

    Saint Mary's: S. Holt 19 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Gonzaga: K. Olynyk 21 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Top-ranked Gonzaga throttles Saint Mary's to claim WCC crown

    Associated Press

    LAS VEGAS -- Not long after top-ranked Gonzaga received the West Coast Conference tournament trophy, an arena full of Zags fans started a chant of No. 1!

    Big, deep, athletic, tough-minded, not to mention dominating and willing to play defense -- it'd be hard to argue against them.

    Kelly Olynyk had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Gonzaga bolstered its case for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament by routing Saint Mary's 65-51 in the West Coast Conference final Monday night.

    "It was a complete game," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "We really played a complete game."

    The Zags have had plenty of those this season.

    Already headed to the NCAA tournament for the 15th straight season, Gonzaga (31-2) sure had the look of a No. 1 seed against the West Coast rivals, dominating at both ends.

    The deep Zags shot 52 percent, dominated inside and teamed up to hound Gaels leading scorer Matthew Dellavedova everywhere he went. Elias Harris added 19 points and Gonzaga had a 42-18 advantage in the paint to win its 14th straight game.

    But instead of hopping up and down at their accomplishment, the Zags gave a few high-fives and hugs amid the streamers falling from the ceiling, a subdued celebration for a team that has eyes on a bigger prize.

    "You've got to enjoy you successes come, but you have to be short-minded in the sense that it's not the end of the year for us and we still want to come out and make some noise in the tournament," Olynyk said.

    Saint Mary's (27-6) labored against Gonzaga's attacking defense and size inside, particularly after point guard Jorden Page injured his right knee midway through the first half.

    Dellavedova struggled for the second straight game, scoring two points on 1-of-8 shooting, and the Gaels went 7 for 27 from 3-point range while shooting 35 percent overall.

    Stephen Holt led Saint Mary's, which should have a solid enough resume to earn an at-large NCAA bid.

    "I thought we played well offensively, but we didn't shoot it (well), which is a big part of offense," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said.

    Gonzaga has been the marker for mid-major success, reaching the NCAA tournament 14 straight seasons and the regional finals four times, including the past two seasons.

    This season, the Zags broke through a big barrier on their way to 30 wins for the first time: No. 1.

    Behind Olynyk, the long-haired Canadian with the Seattle-grunge vibe and way-above-the-rim game, Gonzaga lost just two games -- to ranked teams -- and became the first team to go 16-0 in the WCC. That earned the Bulldogs a spot atop The Associated Press poll for the first time last week.

    While the glare at the top was too much for many teams in this season of parity, Gonzaga handled prosperity well, closing the regular season with a rout over Portland. Gonzaga then beat Loyola Marymount in the semifinals of the WCC tournament to reach the title game for the 16th straight season.

    Waiting for them was a familiar foe.

    The Gaels and Bulldogs have met 15 times the past five seasons, trading WCC tournament championships each of the past four years.

    Gonzaga beat Saint Mary's both times they met during the regular season, 83-78 at home and 77-60 in the Bay Area. The Gaels nearly missed a third shot, needing a late 3-pointer by Dellavedova and overtime to hold off San Diego in the WCC semifinals.

    Saint Mary's managed to keep it close until Page got hurt at 11:42 of first half, then went more than 6 minutes without a field goal against Gonzaga's aggressive man defense.

    Olynyk brought the mostly pro-Gonzaga crowd to its feet by stripping Dellavedova and streaking in for a breakaway dunk, then Kevin Pangos kept the roar going with a jumper off another steal. Harris followed with another basket on the break, putting the Bulldogs up 33-21 and the fans back on their feet.

    Gonzaga kept making shots and led 38-29 after halftime after shooting 16 of 25 from the floor.

    Dellavedova, who went 2 for 12 in the semifinals, barely had room to move against Gary Bell Jr.'s in-the-jersey defense, scoring two points on 1-of-4 shooting. The Gaels went 3 of 16 from 3-point range in the half.

    "Jordy is an important part of our team and it didn't help us him going out," Dellavedova said.

    Gonzaga didn't let up in the second half.

    Olynyk opened with a basket inside, Bell put the Zags up 43-29 with a 3-pointer from the wing and Olynyk later put a punctuation mark on the runaway, soaring in for a one-handed dunk over Brad Waldow that made it a 19-point lead.

    Gonzaga rolled from there, a performance they hope is good enough for a No. 1 seed.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    SMC
    GONZ
    Points 51 65
    FG Made-Attempted 20-56 (.357) 25-48 (.521)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-27 (.259) 2-9 (.222)
    FT Made-Attempted 4-9 (.444) 13-16 (.813)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 10 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 4 19

    2012-13 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    Jan 10, 2013 @GONZ 83, SMC 78Recap
    Feb 14, 2013 GONZ 77, @SMC 60Recap
    » Mar 11, 2013 @GONZ 65, SMC 51Recap