NCAAB Game Recap - Saint Mary's at Brigham Young
Mon Mar 9, 2020 11:30 PM EDT

Del
61
Hof
75
F
Oral
69
NDSt
75
F
IL-C
73
WriSt
56
F
Woff
58
ETSU
72
F
USF
77
Gonz
81
F
WIGB
69
NoKY
80
F
StMar
51
BYU
50
F
ULLa
81
GaSo
82
F
MiaO
85
Buff
79
F
E MI
76
Kent
86
F
CoCar
65
App
70
F
Elon
60
NE
68
F
IPFW
56
N DA
73
F
W MI
73
Toled
76
F
CenMI
65
Ohio
85
F

Mar 9, 2020, 11:30 PM EDT

Final

1

2

T

(3) Saint Mary's (26-7)

20

31

51

(2) Brigham Young (24-8)

26

24

50

Saint Mary’s slips past No. 14 BYU 51-50 in WCC semifinals
Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:08 AM

LAS VEGAS (AP) Jordan Ford knew he was getting the ball. Everyone in the Saint Mary’s huddle told him to attack the basket with the game on the line.

He chose a jumper instead, and it turned out to be the right choice.

Ford hit a pull-up with 1.4 seconds to go, giving the Gaels a 51-50 win over No. 14 BYU in the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals Monday night.

“We kind of cleared it out for me,” said Ford, who averages 21.2 points per game. “In my head I was thinking, get to a jumper and get the guy reeling a bit. Stopped on a dime and shot it.”

Saint Mary’s will face No. 2 Gonzaga for the championship on Tuesday. The Gaels upset Gonzaga in last year's title game to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The conference’s leading scorer, Ford had 12 of his 18 points in the second half for third-seeded Saint Mary’s (25-7), which is looking to win its fifth WCC title and fourth under coach Randy Bennett.

On the decisive play, Ford had BYU guard Alex Barcello defending him at the top of the key. Ford dribbled to his right and pulled up on the wing from 17 feet. The senior guard shot 5 of 9 in the second half after a 2-for-6 start.

“I liked the matchup,” Ford said. “He was a little bit of a smaller defender, so I was able to get the shot up and get a clean look.”

Yoeli Childs had 23 points and 10 rebounds for second-seeded BYU (24-8), which had won nine straight games. The Cougars last played on Feb. 29 against Pepperdine.

Jake Toolson had 11 points and eight rebounds but committed a turnover on BYU’s last chance after Ford’s big shot. Fellow all-WCC first-team selection TJ Haws (with Childs and Toolson) scored five points on 2-of-14 shooting.

“They were very physical,” Childs said. “I think it’s going to make us better. We’re going to take that, learn from it and move on to the next one.”

Saint Mary’s clamped down on defense in the second half. BYU went 9:13 without a basket and missed seven shots in a row during one stretch. The Gaels went on a 12-1 run and led 46-45 with 5:38 remaining.

“That was definitely the reason why we won tonight,” Gaels forward Malik Fitts said. “Clearly our offense wasn’t there, but a lot of guys stepped up.”

BYU shot 24% (6 of 25) in the second half and turned it over seven times.

But the Gaels had a 4:14 scoring drought of their own, which allowed the Cougars to keep it within one. Despite missing 13 of their next 15 shots, BYU took a 48-46 lead with 3:31 left on a three-point play from guard Zac Seljaas.

It was the Cougars’ first field goal since 12:44 remained in regulation.

“I think they did a good job taking us out of what we normally do,” Toolson said. “They were very physical with us and made us play 1-on-1. Moving forward we need to share the ball and play with more force to get those shots that we’ve gotten all season long.”

The Cougars missed 15 of their final 17 shots.

Despite shooting 8 for 28 in the first half with no free throw attempts, Saint Mary’s trailed only 26-20 at the break. The Gaels were outrebounded 17-15 in the period but had five offensive rebounds.

Both teams hit four 3-pointers, but Saint Mary’s shot 4 of 15 inside the line in the first 20 minutes. The Cougars shot 50% (11 of 22) from the floor, led by Childs with eight points.

COMING UP CLUTCH

Fitts, averaging 16.9 points and 7.1 rebounds this season, had only nine points on 2-of-13 shooting to go with eight boards. But he scored with 1:25 left to make it 50-49 and then blocked a potential dunk by Childs with 1:05 remaining to keep the BYU lead at one.

FORD’S ENGINE STILL REVVING

Ford scored 42 points and played all 50 minutes in Saint Mary’s 89-82 double-overtime victory against Pepperdine in the quarterfinals Saturday. He played 34 minutes on Monday. Bennett sat Ford for the final five minutes of the first half.

“I think we were preoccupied getting him the ball,” Bennett said. “We weren’t playing well offensively. I thought he could use a rest, and I think it helps getting guys involved.”

DEJA VU?

When the Gaels won the WCC Tournament last season, they lost to Gonzaga by 48 and 14 points during the regular season before winning in the finals by 13. This season, Saint Mary’s lost by 30 and 10 points against the Bulldogs.

UP NEXT

Saint Mary's: A championship rematch with top-seeded Gonzaga.

BYU: Expecting an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

---

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Leaders

Saint Mary's PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
K. Bowen 0 0 1 6 0 1
T. Krebs 0 0 2 2 1 0
Brigham Young PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
C. Harding 0 0 0 1 0 0
Y. Childs 23 0 0 10 0 0

Team Comparison

StMar BYU
Points For 51 50
Field Goals 19/52-37% 17/47-36%
Three Pointers 4/18-22% 7/18-39%
Free Throws 9/12-75% 9/15-60%
Offensive Rebounds 7 6
Defensive Rebounds 27 27
Rebounds 37 35
Blocks 2 1
Steals 10 4
Turnovers 12 15
Personal Fouls 18 14
Technical Fouls 2 3
Ejections 1 1

2019-2020 Regular Season - StMar Leads Series 2-1

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Thu Jan 9 BYU 84 @ StMar 87 A. Barcello 7 A. Ducas 2
Sat Feb 1 StMar 79 @ BYU 81 L. Johnson 1 K. Lee 2
Mon Mar 9 StMar 51 @ BYU 50 K. Zoriks 2 A. Barcello 3

Game Information

Stadium: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 0
Game Time: