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Saint Mary's Gaels 69, Gonzaga Bulldogs 60: Live score recap, highlights from 2024 WCC Championship game

Gaels clinched first WCC Tournament title since 2019

The Gonzaga Bulldogs came up short of their fifth-consecutive West Coast Conference Tournament title on Tuesday in a 69-60 loss to the Saint Mary's Gaels.

Gonzaga (25-7, 14-2 WCC) played from behind for most of the night and trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half. It had a brief one-point lead midway through the second half after an 8-0 scoring run, in which the Gaels responded with a 7-0 scoring spurt themselves. The Bulldogs went two minutes without a basket down the stretch, leaving the door open for Saint Mary's to seize control late.

Anton Watson led Gonzaga with 18 points. Ryan Nembhard had 13 points and 11 assists for his second-straight double-double and his sixth of the season. The Zags went 2-for-11 from behind the arc.

Aidan Mahaney led with 23 points including clutch baskets left to keep the Gaels out in front. Mitchell Saxen had 19 points and 15 rebounds.

Tuesday was the 14th all-time meeting between Gonzaga and Saint Mary's in the WCC championship game, tying North Carolina-Duke for the most head-to-head matchups in a conference championship game. The Zags won 10 of the previous 13 meetings.

Here are the live updates:


Saint Mary's 63, Gonzaga 56 (1:20): Bulldogs failed to capitalize off two missed free-throws from Saxen, as Nembhard lost control in traffic before a jumpball was called, favoring Saint Mary's. Nembhard's last bucket at the 2:02 mark gave him his sixth double-double of the season.

Saint Mary's 63, Gonzaga 56 (1:29): Mahaney came up big in crunch time with another score, this time over the outstretched Ike, to put the Gaels up 61-54. Bulldogs went without points for two minutes.

Saint Mary's 58, Gonzaga 54 (3:48): Ike made his presence felt immediately after his 10-minute break on the bench, scoring a hookshot over Saxen on his first touch down low.

Saint Mary's 58, Gonzaga 52 (4:52): Gaels responded with a 7-0 scoring spurt to regain momentum late. Bulldogs couldn't capitalize off a steal from Nembhard, followed by a second-chance 3-pointer from Mahaney on the other end, prompting a full-timeout from Mark Few.

Saint Mary's 51, Gonzaga 50 (7:40): A 6-0 scoring run brought the Bulldogs within one point after a pair of free-throws from Watson. Saxen picked up his fourth personal foul on an over-the-back call with 8:22 left in regulation.

Saint Mary's 46, Gonzaga 42 (11:36): Nembhard scored in transition after Huff emphatically rejected Saxen at the rim. Bulldogs' amped-up defense held the Gaels without a field goal for over four minutes until Forbes got a score inside off a pass from Saxen.

Saint Mary's 43, Gonzaga 38 (14:20): Bulldogs went on a 7-1 scoring run capped off by a 3-pointer from Gregg off a feed from Nembhard, his 10th assist of the night. Watson got into it with a few Saint Mary's players after Randy Bennett called timeout. Ike picked up his fourth foul at the 15:05 mark.

Saint Mary's 42, Gonzaga 31 (16:46): Mahaney extended the Gaels' largest lead of the night with a 3-pointer from the wing, after Ike backed off initially looking for a switch. Gonzaga called timeout.

HALFTIME: Saint Mary's 31, Gonzaga 27: Bulldogs faced a small deficit heading into the locker room after shooting 44.0% from the field and getting outrebounded 19-11 by the Gaels, led by Saxen's 12 points. Watson paced Gonzaga with eight points.


Saint Mary's 31, Gonzaga 27 (0:59): Ike tied things up with a score over Forbes inside, though Mahaney and Marciulionis responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to keep the Gaels out in front.

Saint Mary's 25, Gonzaga 23 (3:44): After a defensive stop, Watson gave the Bulldogs crowd something to cheer for with a two-handed dunk in transition. The fifth-year senior led his team early with eight points on three field goals. 

Saint Mary's 19, Gonzaga 17 (7:58): Bulldogs' defense held the Gaels without a field goal for over three minutes to chip into their first half deficit. Nembhard connected on a triple coming off a scree for the team's first 3-pointer of the night. 

Saint Mary's 17, Gonzaga 10 (11:57): Nembhard gave the Bulldogs offense life with a jumper out of a timeout, followed by a dime to Watson on a roll to the rim the next possession. Saxen asserted himself down low with 12 points and three rebounds out of the gate.

Saint Mary's 15, Gonzaga 6 (13:11): Gaels rattled off an 8-2 scoring run to pull ahead early. Ike picked up his second foul at the 14:29 mark on a charge attempt.

Saint Mary's 7, Gonzaga 4 (15:47): Bulldogs were careless with the ball early on with four turnovers in their first seven possessions. Ike had all four points heading into the media timeout. Saxen had a pair of scores off the pick-and-roll.