Gonzaga is absolutely destroying the West Coast Conference right now. Their latest victim was Saint Mary’s, who took a 48-point drubbing on Saturday night. It was the worst loss of Randy Bennett’s tenure in Moraga and showed once again the growing talent gap and, more notably, the enormous athletic disparity between Gonzaga and the rest of the conference. After the game, I saw this tweet, which I thought was funny:
Probably not possible to end a rivalry in a single game, but what Gonzaga did to Saint Mary’s last night was about as close to achieving such a feat as I’ve ever seen.— James (@TheMarketJFH) February 10, 2019
Which leads me to today’s edition of This Week in Gonzaga History where we see Gonzaga beat Saint Mary’s every single time they play. To be fair, the Gaels have had their moments in this rivalry, most notably in 2011-12 when they won both the regular season and tournament championships. Beyond that, it’s basically been all Gonzaga. And when games matter the most, 95 percent of the time, it’s Gonzaga coming out on top. And with the elite athletes currently in the program and the ones on their way, I don’t see that changing any time soon. Enjoy these Gael Tears from the week of February 10-16.
February 10, 2018 – Gonzaga ends Gaels’ 19-game winning streak
One year ago, Saint Mary’s was having the best start to any season in school history. They beat Gonzaga in Spokane a month prior, they were ranked 11th in the country, and held a gaudy 24-2 record. The Bulldogs came marching to Moraga and the place was so crowded and hot, you could feel the sweat dripping from the person sitting next to you. It was the first match-up of top 15 teams in WCC history. The Zags hit three straight threes to start the game, jumped out to a 22-5 lead, and the home crowd was reminded once again who owns the league. Gonzaga went on to win 78-65, limiting Jock Landale to four shot attempts. (Side note: I was in attendance at this game and it was so incredibly satisfying.)
February 11, 2010 – Gonzaga’s second half leads the way over Gaels
After trailing by three at half, Gonzaga outscored Saint Mary’s 41-25 in the final 20 minutes to move ahead of them into sole possession of first place. Elias Harris had 19 points, Rob Sacre shut down Omar Samhan in the second half and Matt Bouldin added 18. “They’ve only got four losses, and two of them are to us,” Bouldin said after the game. Classic.
February 11, 2017 – College Gameday: Gonzaga Beats Saint Mary’s
After losing at Gonzaga two weeks prior, Saint Mary’s tweeted out that random Kanye picture with the caption, “Remember this moment, ‘cause it won’t always be like this.” Two weeks later, Gonzaga was undefeated and number one in the country. Saint Mary’s was hosting the number one team for the first time since Bill Russell and the Dons came to town in 1955. College Gameday was in town. The stage was set for the biggest win in Gaels’ history. Instead, Przemek Karnowski feasted inside, Gonzaga went up by 15 in the first half, and the Gaels lost once again. It will always be like this.
February 11, 2006 – College Gameday: Gonzaga Beats Stanford
With College Gameday in attendance at The Kennel and the Adam Morrison hype at its height, the Bulldogs pulled off a thriller at home against the Cardinal. Morrison scored 12 points in the final three minutes to lead Gonzaga to an 80-76 victory. Morrison finished with 34 and JP Batista added 24.
February 12, 2009 – Gonzaga wins at Saint Mary’s
Matt Bouldin reached 1,000 points for his career, scoring 21 in this one and Gonzaga held off a furious last minute rally to beat the Gaels 72-70 in Moraga. Josh Heytvelt added 20 and 10 for the Zags, who sported black uniforms for the first time. The Gaels played without Patty Mills, who was injured in their previous meeting. With 12 points and 15 boards, Diamon Simpson became the first Gael in program history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
February 12, 2007 – First Loss in McCarthey
Santa Clara won a battle of first place teams and ended Gonzaga’s 50-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation. The Bulldogs were playing their second game without Josh Heytvelt after his arrest and they weren’t able to stop the Broncos on the defensive end. It was the first loss in the history of the McCarthey Athletic Center and their first home loss since February 19, 2003 against Portland.
February 13, 2016 – Gonzaga loses at SMU
Just when we thought that 2016 team turned the corner, they would lose another close game. To have any chance of getting an at-large, Gonzaga needed this win in Dallas. They led by four midway through the second half, but the Mustangs went on a 23-8 run behind Nic Moore to put away the Zags, 69-60. Luckily, the Bulldogs went on a tear the final two weeks of the season and pulled off one of the most satisfying, and relieving, WCC Tourney championships in school history.
February 14, 2013 – Gary Bell goes off in Moraga
Gonzaga was undefeated in WCC play. Saint Mary’s was 10-1 and looking for a tie atop the standings. The stage was set in Moraga yet again for a huge win. Gary Bell Jr. had other plans. Bell scored 20 points, the second most of his career, going 4-for-5 beyond the arc, and Gonzaga outscored the Gaels 45-27 in the second half en route to a 77-60 victory. Delly was good, though. That guy was insane when he was on.
February 14, 2004 – Gonzaga clinches WCC Title
Freshman Adam Morrison scored 22 points and Gonzaga scored 16 straight points late in the second half to beat Saint Mary’s and clinch the WCC regular season championship in Moraga. Blake Stepp, Ronny Turiaf, Sean Mallon and Cory Violette were all in double figures as well. Erroll Knight was ejected in this game. Shoutout Erroll Knight.
February 16, 2002 – Gonzaga knocks off Pepperdine
The Waves were 11-0 in WCC play. The Zags were 10-1, with their only loss at Pepperdine two weeks prior. Dan Dickau made sure that didn’t happen again. Dickau scored 26 points, including the dagger three with 90 seconds to go to lead the Bulldogs to a 91-78 victory. Cory Violette had 16 off the bench and Alex Hernandez had one of the best games of his career, scoring 14 points. The teams combined for 47 fouls and 74 free throw attempts. They would meet in another classic two weeks later for the WCC Championship.