March 9, 2020; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Killian Tillie (33) shoots the basketball against San Francisco Dons guard Khalil Shabazz (0) during the first half during the semifinal game in the WCC Basketball Championships at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and San Francisco Dons were playing the WCC Tournament with different mindsets. Gonzaga, one of the best teams in the country and already locked into the tournament, need to win to cement a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. San Francisco is most likely out of the tournament unless they win the WCC Tournament and grab the automatic spot.

San Francisco gave it a great shot, even going into the lead with around five minutes left. But in the end, Gonzaga outlasted San Francisco for the 81-77 win and a berth to the WCC Tournament final.

Gonzaga would benefit by going 50 percent from the field and having four players reach double digits. Led by Killian Tillie, his 19 points and 10 rebounds tied with San Francisco’s Charles Minlend for game high in points. Gonzaga took the lead early and really kept that lead for most of the first half. It wasn’t until Minlend’s free throw with 11:43 left in the second half that San Fran had the lead.

The underdog Dons traded the lead back and forth throughout the final stretch. Their final charge came with 5:11 left, after Tillie drained a three, Jordan Ratinho came back with a three of his own to get back in front. Gonzaga then got into the lead and were able to keep the margin within one or two possessions as time ran out.

Gonzaga now awaits the winner of Saint Mary’s and 14 ranked BYU. All three teams should be heading to the NCAA Tournament but now it’s all about getting a better seed. BYU wasn’t in last year’s tournament but Saint Mary’s hopes to do better than an 11 seed.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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