No. 2 Gonzaga To Face No. 3 BYU In WCC Tourney Semifinal
LAS VEGAS - Second-seed Gonzaga University will face No. 3 seed BYU Saturday at 8 p.m. in the semifinals of the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena.
The Cougars held on to defeat sixth-seed University of San Diego 73-68 Friday for the right to meet the Bulldogs.
The West Coast Conference newcomer, BYU joined the conference July 1, 2011. The Bulldogs and Cougars met for just the second time in their basketball history when the 24th-ranked Zags headed to Provo Feb. 2 and came away with an 83-73 setback.
But the Bulldogs got revenge when BYU made its inaugural trip to the McCarthey Athletic Center just eight days ago in a 74-63 victory.
In the first meeting the Bulldogs turned the ball over 15 times in the first half and 19 times for the game that led to 22 BYU points. Robert Sacre and Elias Harris combined for just 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Gonzaga's guards could manage just a 3-for-19 night from 3-point range.
The re-match was a different story as Harris scored 19 points and grabbed a career-high equaling 16 rebounds. The Zags also held BYU to 25 percent from the floor in the opening half and 30 percent for the game, the Cougars having shot 41 percent in Provo. The inaugural meeting between the Bulldogs and Cougars was in last year's NCAA Tournament Third Round in Denver when BYU, led by Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette, claimed an 89-67 victory.
In Saturday's other semifinal, No. 5 University of San Francisco will face No. 1 seed and regular-season champion Saint Mary's College at 6 p.m. The Dons advanced with a 67-60 victory over No. 4 Loyola Marymount University in Friday's other quarterfinal. LMU had won both regular-season meetings against USF.
Saturday's semifinals will be televised on ESPN2 and the Gonzaga-BYU contest can be heard on the Bulldog Radio Network, including flagship station 1510 KGA and 101.1 FM in Spokane as well as on the internet at www.gozags.com.
Saturday's semifinal winners meet in Monday's championship game at 6 p.m.
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