Bulldogs To Face San Francisco In WCC Semifinal
March 5, 2011
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Gonzaga University's men's basketball team, the No. 2 seed in the West Coast Conference Championship, will face third-seeded University of San Francisco in Sunday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal at The Orleans Arena.
The Dons, who as the No. 3 seed had a bye into Saturday's quarterfinals, earned the semifinal berth with a 76-59 victory over No. 6 seed Pepperdine University Saturday night. The 5 p.m. semifinal Sunday will pit No. 1 seed Saint Mary's against No. 4 seed Santa Clara University which defeated No. 8 seed Loyola Marymount University 76-68 Saturday. Gonzaga and Saint Mary's were WCC regular-season co-champions, but the Gaels got the top seed based on the tiebreaker procedure.
Gonzaga and San Francisco have met just once in the 24 previous years of the WCC Championship, the Dons taking an 80-67 victory in the 1998 title game at Santa Clara California.
The Dons handed the Bulldogs one of their three West Coast Conference defeats this season, taking a 96-91 overtime victory at War Memorial Gymnasium Jan. 22. Cody Doolin converted a 3-point play with 4.1 seconds remaining in overtime for the victory. The Dons benefited from an elbow by Gonzaga's Robert Sacre in the final minute of regulation that was called an intentional foul. Doolin finished with 23 points and Angelo Caloiaro scored 17 for USF.
Doolin milked the clock in the final seconds of overtime before driving the left of the lane and banking in a left-handed layup over Mathis Möenninghoff for a 3-point play. Just to get to that point, the Dons had to stage a frantic rally in regulation. Caloiaro made a layup and drew a foul on Elias Harris with a little more than two minutes remaining to tie the score at 77-all. He missed the free throw. After the Dons went ahead by one, David Stockton hit a 3-pointer to give Gonzaga an 81-79 lead 41.6 seconds left. Then, Rashad Green missed the second of two free throws, with Sacre grabbing the rebound that led to a sure-to-be-debated call by Gonzaga. Sacre swung his elbows, connecting with Caloiaro's face and knocking him to the ground. Officials called a foul, but changed it to an intentional foul after reviewing the video. USF got two free throws and the ball and, seemingly, the victory. The Dons chose not to foul in the final seconds of regulation. Goodson made a 3-pointer to force overtime.
The Bulldogs avenged that defeat with a 70-53 re-match in the McCarthey Athletic Center Feb. 19 as Gray scored 19 points.
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