Gonzaga and St. Mary’s had to work harder than anticipated to reach the West Coast Conference tournament final for the fifth straight season tonight in Las Vegas. The top-ranked Bulldogs weren’t able to put away ninth-seeded Loyola Marymount until midway through the second half of Saturday’s semifinal, while the No. 23 Gaels needed overtime to beat sixth-seeded San Diego.
Gonzaga won both meetings this season against St. Mary’s, an 83-78 victory on Jan. 10 at St. Mary’s and a 77-60 win a month later in Spokane, Wash.
The Bulldogs feature three players who made the all-WCC first team. Kelly Olynyk, a 7-foot junior center, averages a team-high 17.3 points.
He’s backed by 6-8 senior forward Elias Harris (14.8) and 6-2 sophomore guard Kevin Pangos (11.8).
St. Mary’s is led by 6-4 senior point guard Matthew Dellavedova, the school’s all-time career scoring leader who averages 16.2 points and 6.4 assists.