Monday, March 7, 2011

Sacre, Gray lift Gonzaga over Saint Mary's

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Robert Sacre scored 12 points, including a dunk and six late free throws and Gonzaga beat Saint Mary's 75-63 Monday night to win the West Coast Conference tournament for the second time in three years.

Gonzaga (24-9) received an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament for its 13th straight appearance. Saint Mary's (24-8) will have to hope for an at-large berth.

Steven Gray led Gonzaga with 15 points and Dower had 10. Sacre had four blocks and eight rebounds.

Mickey McConnell led Saint Mary's with 24 points and Matthew Dellavedova added 21.

The game was tied at 53 when Gonzaga reserve Sam Dower started an 8-0 run with a pick-and-roll layup. Freshman guard David Stockton, with Hall of Fame father John Stockton in the stands, hit a 3-pointer to put Gonzaga ahead 58-53.

Saint Mary's made it 61-58 on a 3-pointer by Clint Steindl, but Elias Harris countered with a tip-in, and Sacre made two more free throws and a powerful dunk off a pass from Stockton to put it out of reach.

Rob Jones and Mitchell Young both fouled out with more than five minutes remaining.

The teams split the regular-season series. Saint Mary's won 73-71 on Jan. 27 and Gonzaga taking the rematch 89-85 in overtime on Feb. 24.

This one was just as close despite the final margin.

The teams met in the WCC title game four times previously. Gonzaga won in 2004, 2005 and 2009, and the Gaels took last year's title.

Gonzaga won the women's title earlier Monday with a 72-46 victory over Saint Mary's.

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