The Union Recorder

Local Sports

March 12, 2013

No. 1 Gonzaga rolls over Saint Mary's 65-51 at WCC

LAS VEGAS — Gonzaga played well enough to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, all season and in the West Coast Conference title game.

Whether the top-ranked Zags get that top spot won't be decided until the weekend, not that it matters all that much to them.

"We've been playing great basketball all year," Gonzaga forward Elias Harris said after the Zags rolled over Saint Mary's 65-51 in the WCC final Monday night. "We believe in ourselves, we believe in our coaches, we believe in our teammates."

Already headed to the NCAA tournament for the 15th straight season, Gonzaga (31-2) sure had the look of a No. 1 seed against their West Coast rivals, dominating at both ends.

The deep Zags shot 52 percent, controlled the paint and teamed up to hound Gaels leading scorer Matthew Dellavedova everywhere he went. Kelly Olynyk had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Harris added 19 points and Gonzaga had a 42-18 advantage in the paint to win its 14th straight game.

But instead of hopping up and down at their accomplishment, the Zags gave a few high-fives and hugs amid the streamers falling from the ceiling, a subdued celebration for a team that has its eyes on a bigger prize.

"You've got to enjoy your successes when they come, but you have to be short-minded in the sense that it's not the end of the year for us and we still want to come out and make some noise in the tournament," Olynyk said.

Saint Mary's (27-6) labored against Gonzaga's attacking defense and size inside, particularly after point guard Jorden Page injured his right knee midway through the first half.

Dellavedova struggled for the second straight game, scoring two points on 1-of-8 shooting, and the Gaels went 7 for 27 from 3-point range while shooting 35 percent overall.

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