No. 9 Gonzaga downs San Francisco, charges into WCC final

no.-9-gonzaga-downs-san-francisco,-charges-into-wcc-final

Anton Watson recorded 20 points and seven rebounds to help No. 9 Gonzaga notch a wire-to-wire, 84-73 victory over San Francisco on Monday night in a West Coast Conference semifinal matchup at Las Vegas.

Drew Timme had 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the second-seeded Bulldogs (27-5), who won their eighth consecutive game. Julian Strawther scored 15 points and Ben Gregg had 12 on four 3-pointers.

Gonzaga will face top-seeded Saint Mary’s (26-6) in Tuesday’s WCC title game. The teams split two regular-season meetings.

It will be the Bulldogs’ 26th straight appearance in the championship game, including all 24 seasons of Mark Few’s head-coaching stint.

San Francisco star Khalil Shabazz made six 3-pointers and scored 26 points. Tyrell Roberts had 17 points and Marcus Williams added 11 points and seven rebounds for the sixth-seeded Dons (20-14).

Timme is five points away from surpassing Frank Burgess (2,196 from 1958-61) as the Bulldogs’ all-time leading scorer. Burgess played three seasons while Timme is completing his fourth.

Gonzaga shot 48.2 percent from the field, including 11 of 26 (42.3 percent) from 3-point range.

San Francisco made 40.3 percent of its shots and was 14 of 37 (37.8 percent) from behind the arc.

The Dons trailed by as many as 15 in the first half, but Roberts and Williams hit 3-pointers as the Dons crept within 56-54 with 11:59 left in the game.

San Francisco missed three shots that would have put them on top over their next two possessions, and Gonzaga finally answered with six straight points to boost its lead to eight.

San Francisco were within six again with six minutes to go, but Watson’s basket and four straight points by Strawther made it 76-64 with 4:03 left.

Roberts drained a trey to pull the Dons within nine with 2:38 left before the Bulldogs pushed the lead back to 14 on two free throws by Hunter Sallis with 62 seconds left while closing it out.

Watson scored 13 first-half points as Gonzaga led 43-35 at the half. Shabazz had 14 in the half for the Dons.

–Field Level Media

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