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St. Mary's Wins 2012 WCC Basketball Tournament, Holding Off Gonzaga 78-74 In Overtime

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and St. Mary's Gaels provide an excellent contrast in style, and it showed during the first half of their matchup. There were five ties and eleven lead changes in the first half, but ultimately both teams ended with 36 points apiece at halftime. St. Mary's opened things up by relying on the three pointer, nailing seven of 14 threes to keep them in it with Gonzaga relying more on their interior play. Matthew Dellavaedova led St. Mary's with 10 points, Jorden Page added eight points and Rob Jones put in seven points to lead the Gaels into halftime.

St. Mary's used their hot outside shooting to take the lead in the second half, but they couldn't put too much distance between themselves in the second half. Still, the Gaels responded strongly against every Gonzaga rally and seemed to be in position to win up five, but then allowed Elias Harris of Gonzaga to score five points in the final seconds (with Dellavedova getting tied up on a jump ball trying to run the clock out) to tie the game. Dellavedova's last second shot was long and the game was sent to overtime.

Gonzaga and St. Mary's didn't really separate themselves from each other in overtime.

In overtime, both Gonzaga and St. Mary's traded baskets for much of the period, but with the game tied at 72, Kevin Pangos banged Dellavedova on a scramble, forcing Matthew to the free throw line where he put St. Mary's up for good. Gonzaga couldn't hit their shots late, and St. Mary's hit their free throws the rest of the way en route to clinching the victory.

St. Mary's earns the automatic bid from the WCC (they were already likely to win an at-large bid), pairing it up with a regular season conference title.