St. Mary’s holds off Gonzaga to secure NCAA bid

Matthew Dellavedova scored 22 points and hit the go-ahead free throws in overtime as No. 18 St. Mary’s defeated No. 25 Gonzaga 78-74 in the West Coast Conference tournament title game.

Ex-Riordan High School star Rob Jones had 18 points and nine rebounds, Jorden Page had 16 points and Brad Waldow added 13 as top-seeded St. Mary’s (27-5) qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in eight seasons.

Elias Harris had 22 points and 13 rebounds and Robert Sacre had 17 points for second-seeded Gonzaga (25-6), which was playing in the WCC title game for the 15th straight season.

Dellavedova’s two free throws with 39.3 seconds left in overtime broke a 72-72 tie.

He clinched the game by hitting two more free throws with six seconds left.

St. Mary’s appeared to have the game won late in regulation, but Harris scored five points in the final 15.1 seconds to tie the score at 68-68. Harris hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds remaining.

The Gaels led by as many as eight points in the second half before Gonzaga’s rally.

Harris had 11 first-half points and Gonzaga led by eight points late in the stanza before St. Mary’s got back-to-back 3-pointers by Dellavedova and Beau Levesque to tie the score at 36-36 at intermission.

St. Mary’s started the second half with a 10-2 run to take a 46-38 lead on a three-point play by Jones.
Monday’s title game marked the fourth straight season in which St. Mary’s and Gonzaga met in the championship game. Both teams have won twice in that span.

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