St. Mary's denies Gonzaga's unbeatable regular season with 67-57 victory at home

Last updated February 28, 2022

On Saturday, Saint Mary's ended the longest winning streak in the West Coast Conference with a 67-57 upset of top-ranked Gonzaga. The Gaels, who were ranked 23rd at the time, were led by Tommy Kuhse's 14 points and Matthias Tass' 13 points. After the loss, the Zags were expected to remain the top seed in the NCAA Tournament. On the other hand, Saint Mary's could be in line for a bump after winning its fourth Quad 1. The Gaels extended their home winning streak to 18 games and ended the Zags' seven-game winning streak against them. The win for the Zags could have ensured that they would not lose in the regular season for the second straight year. However, Saint Mary's proved to be a tougher team than they faced in February. The Gaels outscored the Zags in the paint 40-28 and kept Gonzaga to a mere 36.7 percent shooting throughout the game. Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett was pleased with his team's victory, which gave them a perfect home record this season. It was especially special since they lost to Loyola Marymount in their last home game. "That's really special," Bennett said. "It's been hard to get. We lost it one year to Loyola Marymount in our last home game. It's been something hard to get, and we finally got it. Especially when it's against the No. 1 team in the country, it just makes it … a night you'll never forget." All-American Drew Timme struggled from the field, finishing with six points. Saint Mary's held him to 2-for-10 shooting. Several Gaels players pressured Timme into taking the ball away from his hands during the first half. This caused him to have a hard time settling in the game. "He got his touches but after three or four bounces we had three guys surrounding him and knocking the ball out of his hands in the first half," Tass said. "That kind of ruined his rhythm. It was hard for him to bounce back from that."

Gonzaga guards' off night

Timme had a stellar game in the first meeting between these two teams, scoring 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting. However, on Saturday, he shot two for 10 from the field and committed three turnovers. The star guard managed to score six points by the end of the second half, but that's it. Timme was off his usual game. In the second half, the guard only had two attempts. The Gonzaga freshman forward, Chet Holmgren, had a quiet night, scoring six points on three of seven shooting. Before the matchup against St. Mary, the freshman phenom had not failed to score double-digits since December. If the Zags dropped a game in conference play, it was a good place to do it. With the WCC Tournament less than a week away, they could use the experience from this game to their advantage. Rasir Bolton led the way for the team with 16 points, while Andrew Nembhard added 15. The two guards are expected to step up their game as the season progresses, but this team doesn't have a guard who can take over a game and lead the team's offense. The Zags committed 14 turnovers, which resulted in them not scoring well on the road. "They were extremely more aggressive. They got after us and played us really, really physical," said Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. "That was it. When you're the most aggressive team and most physical team, probably nine times out of 10 you're going to win."

Martin Efvergren
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