Gonzaga Men's Hoops Knocks Off USD, 80-70
March 5, 2000
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Casey Calvary scored a career-high 22 points and second-seeded Gonzaga defeated No. 3 seed San Diego 80-70 on Sunday in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament.
The Bulldogs (23-8) will meet Pepperdine (24-7) in Monday's 9 p.m. PST championship game to be televised on ESPN. The Waves, regular-season champions and No. 1 seed, downed fourth-seeded Santa Clara 58-55 in Sunday's late semifinal. This marks the first time in the 14-year history of the WCC Tournament the top two seeds will play for the title. Gonzaga and Pepperdine split their season series, each holding serve at home. Gonzaga came from a big second-half deficit to down the Waves 62-57 in Spokane, and Pepperdine downed the Bulldogs 80-69 in Malibu.
Gonzaga will be playing in its third consecutive championship game and its sixth overall. The Zags advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament after winning the WCC title last year. Pepperdine will be appearing in its first title game since downing San Diego 56-53 in 1994. Pepperdine downed Gonzaga 73-70 in the 1992 title game played in Portland. The host school has never won the WCC Tournament.
Sam Adamo scored 11 points to lead San Diego (20-9), which had its six-game winning streak snapped. Cameron Rigby added 10.
The Toreros were within eight points at 48-40 after Rigby hit a jumper with 16:47 remaining to play in the game.
The Bulldogs came back with a 10-3 run over the next five minutes to open a
58-43 lead. San Diego never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Santangelo set the school record for assists in a season with 204, eclipsing the 201 assists John Stockton recorded in 1984. Santangelo set the mark with three assists in the first half.
The game was tied at 25 with eight minutes left in the first half. Gonzaga finished the half by outscoring the Toreros 16-4, sparked by Mark Spink's seven points, to hold a 41-29 advantage at the intermission.
The emotionally-charged Bulldogs were playing their first game without senior guard Mike Nilson, the WCC's Defender of the Year, whose season came to an end in Saturday's first round win over Saint Mary's. Nilson suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon.
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