LAS VEGAS (AP) — Saint Mary’s ended the nation’s longest winning streak and Gonzaga’s six-year reign as West Coast Conference Tournament champions, grinding out a 60-47 victory in the title game on Tuesday night.
Saint Mary’s (22-11) all but shut down the nation’s highest-scoring team by slowing the game and forcing Gonzaga to grind out possessions instead of playing fast and free.
The Gaels held Gonzaga’s leading scorer Rui Hachimura in check and limited the Zags (30-3) to 2-of-17 shooting from 3-point range to end the nation’s longest winning streak at 21 games.
Gonzaga’s 18-game WCC tournament winning streak, dating to the 2012 title game, also came to an end, and so too could its bid for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Instead of waiting for Selection Sunday, Saint Mary’s left no doubt, getting back to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence with its first WCC title in nine years.
Jordan Ford had 17 points and Tanner Krebs scored 13 for the Gaels.
Gonzaga steamrolled its way to the regular-season title and through the WCC semifinals by getting out in transition, knocking down open shots.