Drew Timme will leave Las Vegas with a perfect 8-0 record in the WCC Tournament and four conference championships to go with his newly minted status as the all-time scoring leader for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Timme and the Bulldogs did it in style too, comprehensively dominating the WCC’s #1 seed in the Saint Mary’s Gaels by a very flattering (for the Gaels) 77-51 scoreline that was never close. With the win, the Zags officially punched their ticket to their 24th straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Timme scored 18 points in his record-setting performance, and his best buddy in Anton Watson just missed a double-double with 9 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal as he shares Timme’s undefeated status during his career in the WCC Tournament.
Gonzaga owned the first 20 minutes of the game. Both teams got out to slow offensive starts as three minutes passed before either team scored a point. The Zags eventually got going but the Gaels never did. That’s a credit to the Gonzaga defense which rose to the occasion and disrupted Saint Mary’s offensive flow early in the game and kept it that way through the remainder of the half.
The Saint Mary’s team that looked deadly a night before while building a 20+ point lead against BYU looked like a sad shell of itself against the Zags. The backcourt duo of Logan Johnson and Aidan Mahaney got the milk carton treatment from the cadre of Zags thrown at them who had a point to prove after each of Johnson and Mahaney had big nights against the Zags in the last two games between these teams.
On the other side of the coin, Gonzaga’s offense had no problem picking apart Saint Mary’s typically stingy defense. The Zags did most of their heavy lifting in the paint, outscoring the Gaels 22-8 in the painted area over the course of the first half. The leader in that department for Gonzaga? Who else but the iconic Timme, who secured the program scoring record early in the game with a jump hook off a pick-n-roll, a play we’ve seen him make countless times over the last four years.
From there, the rout was on as Gonzaga held Saint Mary’s to a paltry 19 points in the first half. The second half was no better for the Gaels until they pieced together an 8-0 run to close out the game and put lipstick on a pig by avoiding a 30-point blowout.
While Gonzaga’s defensive performance was impressive, the story of the night was Drew Timme. What else could it be? Beating your rival in the conference championship game is, of course, is rarely second-fiddle to any other storyline, but it’s not every day that a program finds itself with a new all-time scoring leader. For Gonzaga, it’s a once-every-62 years type of accomplishment. The focus turns to the NCAA Tournament but let’s be sure to appropriately celebrate his achievement and enjoy these last few games with a program legend.