Bulldogs To Meet Santa Clara In Semifinal

March 8, 2008

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Top seed Gonzaga University and No. 4 seed Santa Clara University will meet in the 6:30 p.m. semifinal Sunday at the West Coast Conference men's basketball tournament at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus.

The Broncos (15-15) advanced Saturday when John Bryant made two free throws with 3.0 seconds remaining to give SCU a 51-50 win over No. 5 seed University of San Francisco (10-21) and legendary coach Eddie Sutton.

The Bulldogs and Broncos will be meeting for the second time in seven days, Gonzaga taking an 88-54 victory last Monday in the McCarthey Athletic Center in the regular-season finale. The Bulldogs defeated the Broncos 87-82 in double overtime in the first meeting of the season at SCU, Steven Gray hitting two free throws with .3 seconds to play in regulation to send the game to OT and Austin Daye scoring 13 of his game-high 22 points in the overtimes.

Gonzaga is 5-1 all-time against SCU in the WCC Tournament, the last meeting coming just last season in the title game won by the Bulldogs 77-68 at the University of Portland.

USF led by as many as six points early in the second half, 32-36, after leading 31-24 at halftime. The Broncos evened the score at 32 on a Mitch Henke jumper with 15:33 remaining. Neither team led by more than three the rest of the way, SCU holding a 49-46 lead with :50 to play on a pair of Henke free throws.

USF's Manny Quezada cut the deficit to one with two free throws with 53 ticks remaining, and the Dons regained the lead with :20 to go on two Dean Hadley free throws. Following an SCU timeout, the ball went into Bryant who was fouled on a reach-in.

USF was unable to get a last-second shot off prior to the final buzzer.

Bryant paced SCU with 25 points and 17 rebounds. Vince Polakovich led the Dons with 17 points.

USF, which shot better than 50 percent in Friday's play-in win over Loyola Marymount University, connected on just 31.3 percent Saturday, including 5-for-18 in the second half for 27.8 percent. The Dons were 5-for-14 from 3-point range and 15-for-19 from the free throw line. The Broncos shot 40.8 percent from the field, but just 1-for-12 from 3-point range. SCU was 10-for-15 from the line.

 

 

Sunday's other semifinal following the GU-SCU tilt will feature No. 2 seed Saint Mary's College against the winner of Saturday's late game between host and third seed USD and No. 6 seed Pepperdine University.

Both semifinal games will be televised on ESPN2. The Gonzaga-SCU game will also be aired on 1510 KGA radio in Spokane and via the internet.

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