Jock Landale scored a game-high 22 points, and Saint Mary's made 13 shots from 3-point range as the 19th-ranked Gaels beat BYU 81-50 in a semifinal game of the West Coast Conference tournament Monday night in Las Vegas. Saint Mary's (28-3) advances to the championship game Tuesday against No. 4 Gonzaga, which defeated Santa Clara 77-68 in the other semifinal Monday. The Bulldogs (31-1) swept the season series with the Gaels by scores of 79-56 and 74-64. "We're excited just to be in the final," said Gaels guard Emmett Naar, who had 12 points and 11 assists Monday. "They got us twice in the season. We hope we can get a bit of revenge against them." Including the quarterfinal game Saturday against Portland, Naar has 22 assists and only three turnovers in the tournament. Landale also finished with 10 rebounds. Two other Gaels reached double figures in points besides Landale and Naar. Calvin Hermanson had 14 points and six rebounds, while Tanner Krebs added 11 points. The Gaels shot 55.8 percent from the field, including 52 percent from 3-point range. They produced 21 assists with only seven turnovers. BYU shot only 25 percent in the first half, including 18.2 percent from 3-point range, and committed six turnovers. BYU finished at 31.7 percent from the floor, 23.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 10 giveaways. "We were a couple of steps slow tonight," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "We had a hard time making a basket. You try to keep the guys up and motivated and encouraged, and that's tough when it's not going your way. "It's hard to score against these guys. I'm disappointed in how we responded to challenges early in that first half. When the game got away from us, everything we did in practice did not seem to matter." BYU (22-11) got a team-high 13 points from T.J. Haws, but he struggled from the field, making only 5 of 14 shots. Elijah Bryant contributed 11 points, and Eric Mika finished with 10. Saint Mary's never trailed as BYU was cold from the field from the start. "We have to learn and grow from this," Bryant said. "We must allow this to sting. That way it can motivate us for the next game." After Haws made a 3-pointer to cut the Gaels' lead to 25-17 with 4:21 left in the first half, Saint Mary's outscored the Cougars 11-3 until halftime. Landale had six points in that stretch. The Gaels were on top 36-20 at the break behind 12 points from Landale and nine from Naar. BYU could not cut into the lead in the second half as the Gaels opened with the first seven points, including a couple of layups by Dane Pineau and a 3-pointer by Hermanson. The Gaels beat BYU for the third time this season, all by double-digit margins. "It was a great win because we played well," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "It's nice to play well in this kind of game. It does not always go that way. We shot 70 percent (from the field) in the second half. That's an absurd number. Good things happen when you do that." The Gaels' defense, anchored by Landale at the post, limited BYU to only five assists with 10 turnovers. "We just did a great job of executing and helping each other," Landale said. "We did a really good job of helping with the opposite bigs. We kept at them." NOTES: F Eric Mika and G Nick Emery are the 49th and 50th BYU players to score 1,000 career points. Emery has 168 career 3-pointers, which ranks sixth all time for BYU, but he missed all four of his long-range attempts Monday and wound up scoreless. ... BYU has won at least 20 games for an 11th consecutive season. The Cougars have also reached the postseason in 11 straight seasons. ... Saint Mary's finished the regular season 26-3 for the highest-winning percentage (.896) in program history. ... The Gaels have surpassed the 20-win mark for the 10th straight season, all under coach Randy Bennett, and the 12th time in school history.
No. 19 Saint Mary's routs BYU to reach WCC final
The Sports Xchange | Mar 7