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    The Rebel HD-2

Basketball

WCC Tournament Recap

todayMarch 9, 2022 26

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WCC Tournament Recap

by Emmet Kenney

The West Coast Conference Tournament returned to the Orleans Arena with fans in attendance for the first time since March 10th, 2020. The large favorite heading into the tournament, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, cruised their way to their 9th championship in the past 10 seasons. As the one seed, the Bulldogs got the privilege of not having to play until Monday night. The tournament officially started last Thursday with the first two games.

 

The 8 seed Loyola Marymount defeated the 9 seed, Pacific, by a final score of 86-66. The Lions got 31 points from guard Joe Quintana and forward Eli Scott added 20. The main difference in the game was the Lions’ ability to hit the three-point shot as they shot 54% from three and hit 13 total in the game propelling them to the big win in the first round. In the second game of the first round, the 7 seed San Diego Toreros knocked off the 10 seed Pepperdine Waves in a closely contested 74-67 game. Joey Calcaterra led all scorers with 20 points of the game, helping the Toreros move onto the second round.

 

In the second round, there were two blowouts as the 5 seed BYU Cougars defeated the Loyola Marymount Lions 85-60, as the Cougars led the whole game with 22 points by Alex Barcello. In the second matchup of round 2, the Portland Pilots jumped all over the Toreros, thanks to 28 points from Moses Wood, as Portland got the 73-55 victory to move onto the Quarterfinals where they would play the Santa Clara Broncos.

 

In their matchup with the Broncos, Portland had no answers on defense as Santa Clara put up 91 points in the 91-67 victory. In the most important Quarterfinal matchup in terms of March Madness bubble teams, San Francisco got the 12 point victory over BYU, which all but eliminates the Cougars’ March Madness hopes for the season.

 

The semi-finals matchups were set as Gonzaga took care of San Francisco, holding a double-digit lead throughout most of the game. The second matchup of the night, however, was a tightly contested battle between Saint Marys and Santa Clara. The Gaels were able to get the 75-72 victory after Santa Clara’s desperation shot at the end hit off the front rim to set up another Gonzaga vs Saint Marys championship matchup.

 

It has been the most common matchup of the WCC finals, as this was the 3rd championship matchup between the two in the last 4 years. Saint Marys got out to an early 5-0 lead and it took Gonzaga about 10 minutes into the first half to find their rhythm. Gonzaga took a 38-28 lead into the half, but Saint Marys would not go away easily. The Gaels cut the lead down to 2 with under seven minutes to go in the game. Gonzaga went on a 9-1 run to take over the game and eventually went on to win by a final score of 82-69. It is Gonzaga’s 9th tournament title in the last 10 seasons and they have punched their ticket into March Madness and, most likely, clinched a #1 seed in the tournament next week.

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