Gonzaga met the Saint Mary’s for the third and final time in the 2013-2014 season and got the best of the Gaels once again by a score of 70 to 54. The Bulldogs knocked off the Gaels by double-digits in each one of their three contests this season with an average margin of victory of 22 points.
The Zags got up early and used solid defense to build their lead throughout the game.
David Stockton led the Bulldogs tonight, scoring 11 points, snagging six rebounds and leading the Bulldogs in assists with four. Sam Dower was one rebound short of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Gary Bell had 14 points on six of eight shooting and was a spark plug for the Zags on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.
Despite playing poorly in the two team’s previous two outings, Brad Waldow was a lone bright spot today for the Gaels, scoring 14 points on five of seven shooting. Kerry Carter and Stephen Holt led the Gaels with six rebounds and James Walker III and Eividas Petrulis‘ two assists were a team-high. Carter and Holt also finished in double figures with 11 and 13 points respectively.
Keys to the Game Checklist
(Check) Control the Glass
Although it did not make much of difference, the Gaels pounded the glass much harder tonight and out rebounded the Zags 35 to 33.
(Check) Defend the Perimeter
The Gaels only shot two total 3-pointers in the entirety of the game and connected on only two of them.
Impact Players Recap
Stephen Holt – Impact: Below Average
Holt did not have a great game, shooting only three of seven from the field. He did score 13 points and grabbed six rebounds, but only dished out one assist, which is extremely low for a primary ball-handler
Przemek Karnowski – Impact: Below Average
Karnowski struggled offensively tonight with only two points on one of four shooting, but his presence was felt on the defensive end by contesting shots in the paint. Ultimately, foul trouble plagued the big man throughout the course of the game as he only saw 20 minutes of action.
Player of the Game
Gary Bell Jr.
Bell was a huge energy boost for the Bulldogs tonight, especially in the first half. The junior guard scored 14 points on six of eight shooting and was a perfect two for two from beyond the 3-point arc. He also played great defense on Saint Mary’s lead guard Stephen Holt, who struggled mightily tonight.
Gonzaga advances to the WCC conference tournament final for the 17th straight season with the victory. That feat in itself is incredible.
The Zags will take on the winner of BYU and San Francisco, which is the late game tonight.
Saint Mary’s is now officially out of the NCAA tournament conversation with the loss. Best case scenario for the Gaels would be an invitation to the NIT. According to NYCBuckets.com’s NIT bracketology (which you can read here), Saint Mary’s would be a six seed.