Gonzaga-Santa Clara halted because men's game started with women's ball

It rarely goes the Gaels' way.

Gonzaga will likely contend for No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament's West Regional with the Pac-12 Tournament victor.

The Cougars lost three times to Saint Mary's this season, and Monday's game was BYU's first setback by 20 or more points in four years and was the most lopsided loss in Rose's 12-year tenure at the helm.

Nigel Williams-Goss, who led the Zags in points (25), rebounds (8) and assists (5) Monday night against Santa Clara, was 3 years old.

No. 19 St. Mary's 81, Brigham Young 50: Center Jock Landale had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the Gaels (28-3) coasted after taking a 36-20 lead into halftime. And current high school seniors heading to Gonzaga this fall weren't even alive when this streak began.

Gonzaga has now won 12 of the past 14 games between the two teams.

As Selection Sunday draws near, St. Mary's has more to play for in tonight's WCC Championship. For the rest of the first half though, it was all Gonzaga as the Bulldog freight train plowed through the Gaels.

Saint Mary's second half surge put a scare into the sold out, mostly pro-Gonzaga crowd at Orleans Arena Tuesday night.

This year, sporting arguably their best team ever, the Gonzaga Bulldogs will play in their 20th-straight West Coast Conference title game.

Saint Mary's came out cold from the start, shooting only 21.4 percent (6 of 28) from the field in the first half while committing 10 turnovers. The 19 points were a nice bounce back after three games of scoring just 24 total points.

But Williams-Goss almost matched him with 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting. The redshirt sophomore scored 22 points in the first half.

Saint Mary's dominated from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

Barta should know. The 6-foot-4 sophomore had several of her most memorable games back at Fairfield in the state tournament. "Nothing comes easy in March". "But we shot real well", said Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett. The spell seemingly doomed any hope the Gaels had at an upset as the Bulldogs used a 12-0 run to lead by 18 points.

When Saint Mary's closed the gap to 66-57 in the first minute of the fourth quarter, Barta countered with consecutive threes. After a timeout Landale went to work on Karnowski, fading to his left, twisting right and scoring on a hook to cut the margin to eight.

The Gaels' defense held BYU to just two field goals in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer by freshman Liz Eaton with 17 seconds left after Judkins emptied his bench with the final outcome in little doubt.

Suddenly, Gonzaga found itself seriously challenged. GU led 66-55 after three quarters. Williams-Goss was in the middle of the action with a give-and-go to Karnowski for one basket. "We hung in tough in the first half, but the third quarter didn't help us and we didn't make plays when we needed to". Although he faced two defenders Williams-Goss charged the basket and scored on a fallaway while being fouled.

  • Larry Hoffman