LAS VEGAS — Nigel Williams-Goss had a balanced night with 22 points, six assists, six rebounds and six steals and No. 4 Gonzaga won its fifth straight West Coast Conference Tournament title with a 74-56 win over No. 19 Saint Mary’s on Tuesday night.
Williams-Goss shot 6-for-11 from the floor and made all 10 of his free throws for the tournament’s top-seeded team.
“It’s no secret: if we play our best basketball, dial into the process the coaches give us, play like we did in the first half at both ends of the floor, there’s no doubt in our minds we can go win the whole entire tournament,” said Williams-Goss.
Przemek Karnowski added 15 points and 10 rebounds, four blocks and two steals and Johnathan Williams finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs (32-1), who heads into the NCAA tournament as potentially one of the No. 1 seeds.
“We’re 32-1, this team has been exceptional all year,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “They’ve stepped up and met every challenge.
“We’ve been good from Nov. 10 to March 7 and haven’t taken any nights off. Our results speak for themselves.”
Calvin Hermanson led Saint Mary’s with 14 points, while Jock Landale added 10 points and five rebounds for the Gaels (28-4), who scored just 18 first half points on Tuesday night and trailed by 21 points at halftime.
As a team, Gonzaga went 27-for-54 from the floor for 50 percent and held the second-seeded Saint Mary’s to 36.8 percent shooting.
The Bulldogs and the Gaels have met in the title game seven of the past nine years, with the Zags winning six titles.
Gonzaga will now turn its attention to the NCAA Tournament for the 19th straight season, hoping to improve on its “Elite Eight” best-ever finish.
Despite the defeat on Tuesday night, Saint Mary’s will also be heading to the dance.
“I felt good last year on this day and no question I felt we should have been in the tournament and I feel more confident this year,” said Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett.
“Nothing is done until it’s done, so the only chance to make sure was tonight. But there’s not many teams that have done what we’ve done this season.”