Gonzaga beats Saint Mary’s 85-75 in WCC title game

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Kyle Dranginis (L) #3 and Eric McClellan #2 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrate with the trophy after defeating the Saint Mary's Gaels 85-75 to win the championship game of the West Coast Conference Basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on March 8, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gonzaga won 85-75. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

 

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Eric McClellan scored 20 points, Kyle Wiltjer added 17 and Gonzaga took the guesswork out of its 18th straight NCAA Tournament appearance by beating Saint Mary’s 85-75 Tuesday night in the West Coast Conference championship game.

Despite sharing the WCC regular-season crown, Gonzaga (26-7) was not a lock to make the NCAA Tournament. The Zags had a few smudges on their resume, so winning the WCC would make for a much easier Selection Sunday.

They took the suspense out of it with a balanced attack and by shooting 61 percent in the latest installment of this rivalry. Josh Perkins scored 16 points and Domantas Sabonis added 15 for Gonzaga.

Saint Mary’s (27-5) tried to keep up with the Bulldogs’ shooting, making 12 of 25 from 3-point range, but will have to hope its resume is good enough for an NCAA Tournament berth.