Spokane, Wash. — Home losses are rare for Gonzaga, even against archrival Saint Mary’s. The Gaels relied on experience and their characteristically efficient offense to pull the upset on Thursday night.
Jock Landale had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and the Gaels beat the 13th-ranked Bulldogs 74-71 to take sole possession of first place in the West Coast Conference.
“You have to have experienced guys and big guys to win here, and our guys handled the atmosphere,” Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said. “It was a heck of a win for us.”
Saint Mary’s shot 56.6 percent, slightly above its season average, and won its 13th consecutive game. The Gaels had lost 12 of their previous 14 against Gonzaga.
“It’s a huge win,” said Tanner Krebs, who had 10 points and six rebounds for Saint Mary’s (18-2, 7-0 WCC). “It looks good on our resume and puts us on top of the conference.”
Calvin Hermanson added 16 points for the Gaels, while Jordan Ford also scored 10. Landale made 12 of 15 shots.
“We did a better job of staying in front of them in the second half and kept them out of the paint,” Landale said. “We just tried to stick to what we know. It was a battle the entire game.”
Rui Hachimura came off the bench to score 23 points, 15 in the first half, for Gonzaga (16-4, 6-1 WCC), which shot poorly in the second half. Johnathan Williams added 13 points.
Gonzaga is 188-18 at McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.
“That was two heavyweights going back and forth,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “Both teams were having a hard time stopping the other’s offense.”
Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s have won the past nine WCC tournament titles, with Gonzaga claiming seven. The Gaels were the preseason pick by league coaches to win the conference this season.
“We had a couple of empty possessions in the second half and they didn’t,” Few said. “We uncharacteristically took a couple of tough ones that we shouldn’t have.”
“Hey, we get another shot at them,” Few added.
Leading by four at halftime, Gonzaga outscored the Gaels 8-3 to open the second half and push their lead to 50-41.
Saint Mary’s came back and Landale’s basket tied the score at 63 with seven minutes left. Landale scored again to put the Gaels up 65-63.
After Josh Perkins sank three free throws to put the Bulldogs ahead, Landale’s basket tied it at 68.
Hermanson’s layup put the Gaels up 70-68 with 2:45 left. Hachimura’s basket tied it again.
Landale’s layup put Saint Mary’s up 72-70 with 1:06 left.
Zach Norvell Jr. hit a free throw for Gonzaga with 41 seconds left to cut Saint Mary’s lead to one, and then Landale broke free and scored on a layup with 15 seconds left that turned out to be the game’s final points. Hachimura missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
(At) No. 2 Virginia 64, Georgia Tech 48: De’Andre Hunter scored 17 points and Virginia won its ninth straight. It was another defensive masterpiece by the Cavaliers (17-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who limited Georgia Tech to 40.5 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers. Virginia snapped a four-game winning streak for the Yellow Jackets (10-8, 3-2).
At Maryland 77, Minnesota 66: Kevin Huerter scored 19 points, Anthony Cowan Jr. had a career-high 10 assists and Maryland used a strong second half to beat cold-shooting Minnesota. Michal Cekovsky delivered 10 of his 17 points during an 18-2 run that gave the Terrapins a 50-34 lead against the weary Golden Gophers, who could not summon the energy to make a comeback.
Maryland (15-6, 4-4 Big Ten) snapped a two-game skid and improved to 12-1 at home. Cowan did his part by distributing the ball and scoring all 15 of his points over the final 12 minutes.
Jordan Murphy had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota, his nation-leading 19th double-double of the season. The Golden Gophers are in the middle of a stretch of three games over six days, concluding with a matchup against No. 22 Ohio State in New York on Saturday afternoon.
Minnesota (14-7, 3-5) finished 23 for 64 (36 percent) from the floor and made only three baskets in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.
Michigan Tech 76, (at) Wayne State 66: Kyle Monroe led all scorers with 34 for Tech (8-9, 5-5 GLIAC). Chuck Key scored 25 for WSU (8-7, 6-4 GLIAC).
(At) Wayne State 50, No. 12 Michigan Tech 40: Shannon Wilson scored 22 and Nastassja Chambers added 16 for WSU (12-3, 7-3 GLIAC). Michigan Tech is 14-3, 8-2 GLIAC.
No. 23 Green Bay 85, (at) Detroit 27: Zoey Oatis’ eight points led the overmatched Titans (1-17, 1-6 HL), who were held to six points in the first and third quarters and none in the second.
Milwaukee 74, (at) Oakland 62: Taylor Jones led the Grizzlies (10-7, 3-3HL) with 14 points and Taylor Gleason added 11 in a losing effort.