It was senior night in Moraga and the Gaels starting line-up reflected that. Paul McCoy and Matt Hodgson joined usual senior starters Stephen Holt, Beau Levesque and James Walker III. Junior Brad Waldow was the first replacement off the bench, coming in at the 16:36 mark.
Beau Levesque hit a three just under a minute into the game that gave the Gaels a 3-0 lead.
The fans had a good while to savor those three points because the Gaels failed to score for over six minutes. During that span, Gonzaga scored 12 points. Their run would stretch to 19-2. While it would end, the half continued in similar fashion. The Zags would score a few buckets for each bucket the Gaels would score.
Nine Zags saw action in the first half and all nine saw their shots fall. Sam Dower led the way with nine points and seven rebounds. As a team Gonzaga had 26 first half rebounds. Saint Mary's had just 22 first half points. The Zags did most of their damage in the paint, where they scored 26 points in the first. Drew Barham hit the only three of the half, but the Zags only shot four from long range.
At the break it was 42-22 in favor of the visitors.
The second half got even more out of hand. Sam Dower hit a lay-up on the Zags first possession to put Gonzaga up by as many points as the Gaels had total.
A Drew Barham three pointer at 12:18 made it 57-27. The lead fell below 30 points just twice after that. Stephen Holt hit two free throws on the ensuing possession to make it a 28 point game. The game would have ended with Gonzaga up 30, but Jordan Giusti hit a three at the buzzer.
Gonzaga led by as much as 34 points after a Gerard Coleman lay-up at 2:31.
Honestly, this game wasn't even close from after the first basket. Gonzaga's defense came together immediately and held the Gaels to 18.5% shooting in the first half. The Gaels improved to 28% in the second, but it's more accurate to say the Zags defensive intensity wasn't quite as high with a 30 point lead.
Sam Dower finished with a game high 15 points and 10 rebounds. David Stockton had 10 points on five shots, with five assists and five rebounds.
Saint Mary's needed not only to win this game to get the three seed in the WCC Tournament, but have San Francisco lose to LMU. Neither happened. Oh, by the way, last place LMU trailed San Francisco by three in the final minute despite playing only six men in the game. Max Good deserves a shout out for his coaching tonight.
Gonzaga will be the one seed and Saint Mary's the four seed in the tournament. The streak of Gonzaga and Saint Mary's playing each other in the WCC Tournament final will end at five. Which means the Zags and Gaels are set to meet in the WCC semis.