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St. Mary's beats Santa Clara, 73-64, to reach WCC tournament final

Mitchell Young scores 17 points for top-seeded Gaels, who improve to 24-7.

March 06, 2011
  • Saint Mary's forward Mitchell Young drives to the basket against Santa Clara forward Marc Trasolini on Sunday.
Saint Mary's forward Mitchell Young drives to the basket against… (Eric Jamison / Associated…)

LAS VEGAS -- Mitchell Young scored 17 points off the bench and freshman Stephen Holt added 15 to lead top-seeded St. Mary's to a 73-64 victory over No. 4 Santa Clara in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament Sunday night.

The Gaels (24-7) will face the winner of the other semifinal between Gonzaga and San Francisco in Monday's championship game. St. Mary's is seeking its third straight WCC tournament title.

Marc Trasolini led Santa Clara (19-14) with 22 points, and Kevin Foster added 18 points, but made only five of 18 shots.

St. Mary's led, 31-29, at halftime and never trailed in the second half.

"It was a tough game, a gritty game," St. Mary's Coach Randy Bennett said. "In the first half it was hard to get away from them, but we survived some foul trouble."

The win was the Gaels' third this season against the Broncos.

Early in the second half, St. Mary's went on a 9-3 run to take a 42-34 lead with 17:08 remaining. Holt started it with a jumper, Rob Jones converted a three-point play and Young capped it with a putback.

Santa Clara answered with Trasolini beating the shot clock, Evan Roquemore hitting a pull-up jumper and Foster making a three-point shot to pull the Broncos within 44-41.

Santa Clara later got within 53-50 after a jumper by Trasolini with 6:25 remaining, but St. Mary's then went on a 7-0 run. Matthew Dellavedova, who had 13 points, made a pair of free throws and Young scored the next five to give the Gaels a 60-50 lead.

"Mitch really stepped up. That's how it's been all year; guys picked each other up," Bennett said.

St. Mary's held a 25-4 advantage in bench scoring with Kenton Walker II adding eight points in 16 minutes.

Holt came into the game averaging six points a game, but had 12 midway through the second half.

Bennett made the decision to start Holt at guard in an effort to slow down Foster.

"I didn't want Foster to get going right away," Bennett said.

Foster, who leads the WCC in scoring and the nation in three-point shots attempted and made, was four for 12 from three-point range.

Gonzaga 71, San Francisco 67: Marquise Carter scored 18 points, including seven late free throws, and Demetri Goodson made a key steal for the Bulldogs (23-9).

San Francisco (17-14) trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half but kept chipping away.

Gonzaga lost to St. Mary's, 81-62, in last season's tournament championship.

Janelle Bekkering scored 17 points and became the 16th player in Gonzaga history to reach 1,000 in a 96-71 victory over Portland. St. Mary's advanced with a 71-68 win over San Diego.

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