The Gonzaga Bulldogs held off a feisty San Francisco Dons squad to advance to the finals of the 2011 West Coast Conference tournament. The Bulldogs overcame a poor second half of shooting to end the upset hopes of the Dons. Gonzaga advances to face St. Mary's tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN in a battle of the top two teams in the conference.
The Bulldogs looked like they were ready to cruise as they led by 10 at the half. The game got off to a slow start in the first half but Gonzaga looked to be pulling away. However, Gonzaga suddenly couldn't hit the broad side of a barn as they were shooting under 40% throughout the second half. San Francisco caught fire and actually cut the lead to two with under a minute to play. Unfortunately for the Dons three straight turnovers kept them from tying the game.
The game took a surreal turn at the end. The Dons hit a three to cut the lead to 68-65 with seven seconds left. After a 30-second timeout, Gonzaga went to inbounds the pass when Rashad Green stole the pass to David Stockton. Unfortunately, someone on the Dons appeared to try and call a timeout even though San Francisco was out of timeouts. This reenactment of Chris Webber's infamous 1993 NCAA tournament mistake cost the Dons. Marquise Carter hit one of two free throws and USF was unable to recover in the closing seconds.
Today's St. Mary's and Gonzaga victories now gives us a much anticipated rubber match. Saint Mary's defeated Gonzaga 73-71 in Spokane and Gonzaga returned the favor with an 89-85 OT victory in Moraga.