Gonzaga wins fourth straight WCC title
Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Derek Raivio scored 28 points to lead Gonzaga
to its fourth straight West Coast Conference Tournament title, as the Bulldogs
defeated the Santa Clara Broncos, 77-68, at the Chiles Center.
Matt Bouldin added 14 points for the tournament’s top-seeded Bulldogs (23-10),
who have won eight of the last nine conference tournament titles. Micah Downs
had 12 points and 10 boards and David Pendergraft recorded 12 points and seven
rebounds for Gonzaga, which receives the automatic berth into the NCAA
Tournament, marking its ninth straight tourney appearance.
Scott Dougherty had 16 points to lead second-seeded Santa Clara (21-10), which
will likely be heading to the NIT instead of the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos,
though, will have to wait until Sunday to see if they will receive an at-large
Santa Clara led 31-23 after a John Bryant free throw with 6 1/2 minutes left
in the opening half, but Gonzaga answered by running off eight straight
points. Bouldin’s three-pointer with 4 1/2 minutes left capped the surge and
tied the game at 31.
Later, the ‘Zags ended the half with seven straight points to take a 40-35
advantage into the break. Downs had four points during that surge and seven
overall during the half-ending 17-4 outburst.
The Bulldogs extended to a 10-point lead, 48-38, on a Raivio jumper nearly
five minutes into the second half. However, Santa Clara scored the next six
points with a Brody Angley free throw with 12:46 left, drawing the Broncos
Four points, though, was as close as Santa Clara could get. Still ahead by
four, 56-52, a Raivio jumper started an 8-2 run that eventually gave the
Bulldogs 64-54 cushion with three minutes left.
Santa Clara last won the WCC Tournament title in 1993…These two teams split
the two meetings in the regular season…Bryant and Joey Kaempf each ended
with 13 points.