In the 1st half, the Gaels came out strong on a 4-0 early lead, but the Bulldogs answered right back with a 6-0 run of their own. The game went back and forth with neither team being able to dominate until 11:42. The score was 17-16 Gonzaga. This marked a turning point in the game as Jordan Page went down with a knee injury. This injury seemed to knock the wind out of the Gaels play. They went into a steady decline with another overall poor shooting 1st half. The Bulldogs stayed patient, shot well, and took the Gaels into the locker room down by nine; 38-29.
Statistically, the Gaels just did not shoot well. They were 11-28 (39.3%) from the floor. From threes they were an abysmal 3-16 (18.8%). This made all the difference in the overall score as the Bulldogs went an impressive 16-25 (64.0%) from the floor and were 1-5 (20.0%) from threes.
Leading the way for the Gaels was Stephen Holt with 12. Brad Waldow, coming off emergency oral surgery from having his two front teeth knocked out against San Diego Sat night, had nine. For the Bulldogs, Elias Harris led the way with 11. Kelly Olynyk had 10.
St Mary’s was outscored in the paint 26-14. The Gonzaga bench outscored the Gael bench 9-3.
In the second half, the Gaels just never were able to bounce back. With 13:29 left to play the Bulldogs had built the lead 53-34. The Gaels kept trying to fight back, but just never could get the momentum. They finished with a tough loss, 65-51.
Game-wise, the Gaels shooting never developed. They finished 20-56 (35.7%) from the floor. From beyond the arc they went 7-27 (25.9%). Gonzaga stayed tough and finished the night 25-48 (52.1%) from the floor. From beyond the arc they finished 2-9 (22.2%).
For the Gaels Stephen Holt led the way with 19. Brad Waldow and Beau Levesque both had nine. Matthew Dellavedova had a tough night and put up just two, but had seven assists. For Gonzaga, Kelley Olynyk ended with 21. Elias Harris had 19.
From the paint the Gaels were outscored 42-18. The Gaels bench managed to outscore the Bulldogs bench 16-10.
Tonight was definitely a tough loss for the Gaels. This was the first time in Gonzaga’s history that they have been nationally ranked number 1.
The question becomes: Has St. Mary’s done enough to earn an at large bid for the NCAA tournament? With a 27-6 record, with three of those loses coming from Gonzaga, how can the Gaels be overlooked?