Gonzaga Stunned By League-Leading Saint Mary's 73-71
Jan. 28, 2011
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Mickey McConnell scored 27 points, including the game-winning 10-footer with about a second to play, to give Saint Mary's a 73-71 victory over Gonzaga - its first win in Spokane since 1995.
McConnell scored 10 of the final 11 points for Saint Mary's (18-3, 6-0 West Coast Conference). He was 10-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Matt Dellavedova and Rob Jones added 15 points apiece for the Gaels.
Saint Mary's handed Gonzaga its first three-game WCC losing streak since the 1997 season. It was only the second WCC home loss for the Bulldogs since moving into the McCarthey Athletic Center for the 2004-05 season, and the first since 2007. Gonzaga is now 44-2 in WCC play since moving into the new facility. It's the second home loss for Gonzaga this season, in a building where it has won 85 of 91 games. Gonzaga also lost three straight WCC games for the first time since 1997.
McConnell came off a screen and was picked up by the Bulldogs' Robert Sacre on the decisive play. McConnell dribbled to the left side of the free throw line extended and hit the shot over Sacre.
Demetri Goodson had a desperation 3-point attempt on the ensuing inbound.
"We couldn't guard that thing any better," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "We had the guy we wanted to guard it. Rob's (Sacre) our best defender and Mickey (McConnell) hit a heck of a shot."
The see-saw finish saw the Bulldogs take a 69-68 lead after a pair of Sacre free throws with 2:11 to play. McConnell's responded with another jumper and Mitchell Young hit 1-of-2 free throws with 18 ticks left for a 71-69 SMC lead.
But junior college transfer Marquise Carter was fouled and sank both free throws to knot the score at 71 with 10.2 seconds to play. McConnell took the inbounds pass and made the game-winner.
"It was a great game, back and forth with all kinds of different people making big plays," Few said. "They made the last big play of the game. I was proud of Marquise. A guy with limited minutes stepped in there. Those were as big of free throws as guy could make. He just calmly stepped there and knocked them down. It was huge.""
Gonzaga fell behind 50-42 in the second half but Dower scored nine straight points for a 51-50 Zags lead.
Gray, who had just six first-half points, scored the next six points as Gonzaga clung to a 57-54 lead with 8:40 remaining. But Gray picked up his fourth foul with 8:06 to go and eventually fouled out with 4:58 to play.
The Bulldogs built an early 11-2 lead in front of a charged up sellout crowd. But Dellavedova and McConnell each hit treys to bring the Gaels back into the contest.
Gonzaga remains home Saturday to face the University of San Diego at 5 p.m. The Toreros are winless in six WCC outings after falling at the University of Portland on Thursday.
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