Gonzaga takes West Coast Conference

Posted: Tuesday, March 08, 2005

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Adam Morrison scored 30 points and keyed a big second-half run to lead No. 11 Gonzaga to its sixth West Coast Conference tournament title in seven seasons, 80-67 over Saint Mary's on Monday night.

Ronny Turiaf added 18 points and 14 rebounds as the Zags (25-4) earned a seventh straight NCAA tournament bid with their 12th straight victory. Gonzaga beat the second-seeded Gaels in the title game for the second straight season.

Daniel Kickert scored 27 points with a career-high seven 3-pointers, and Paul Marigney had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Saint Mary's (25-8), which still has a strong chance to earn the school's first NCAA tournament bid since winning its only WCC tournament title in 1997 and losing in the NCAA first round to Wake Forest.

Morrison, the tournament MVP, scored the Zags' first seven points after halftime, including a three-point play that started a 15-3 run. He threw his arm into the air to celebrate in the final minute and called for Gonzaga's large fan contingent to rise to its feet.

Turiaf, who had four second-half blocks, responded with a big night after a poor performance in Gonzaga's 90-74 semifinal win over San Diego on Sunday.

Derek Raivio added 16 points to help Gonzaga snap the Gaels' five-game winning streak.

Of all the talented Gonzaga teams during the program's recent run, some say this could potentially be the best one yet.

After Kickert's 3 with 16:20 left pulled the Gaels to 41-40, Gonzaga scored 10 straight points and held the Gaels to one field goal in 10 minutes. Marigney scored five straight to pull Saint Mary's to 53-47 with 8:01 to go, but the Gaels couldn't get closer.

Women's Capsules

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Tournament MVP Candice Wiggins had 16 points and seven rebounds, and top-ranked Stanford won its 20th straight game and third straight Pac-10 Conference championship by beating Arizona State 56-42 Monday night.

Brooke Smith scored 10 points and Susan King Borchardt added nine for the Cardinal (29-2), who ascended to the top spot in the AP Top 25 earlier in the day for the first time since December 1996.

But the Pac-10's top two defensive teams played an ugly game worthy of its billing. Stanford was held to its lowest point total of the season by the excited Sun Devils (22-9) — but Arizona State made 18 turnovers and just 31 percent of its shots in its lowest-scoring game of the year.

No. 4 North Carolina 88, No. 5 Duke 67

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Fourth-ranked North Carolina put a harsh end to Duke's run at Atlantic Coast Conference history, getting 26 points from Ivory Latta in the tournament championship game.

The fifth-ranked Blue Devils were seeking to become the first team — men's or women's — to win six straight ACC tourney titles. But they went down with surprising ease despite 26 points from Monique Currie.

No. 7 Michigan St. 55, No. 12 Minnesota 49

INDIANAPOLIS — Liz Shimek scored 15 points and the Spartans held Janel McCarville to two points en route to their first Big Ten tournament title.

Michigan State (28-3) set a school record by winning its 12th straight and got an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by posting the lowest-scoring championship game in conference history.

The Spartans finished the night with an 13-2 run and held McCarville to 1-for-17 shooting.

No. 9 Rutgers 64, Villanova 59

HARTFORD, Conn. — Matee Ajavon had 16 points and five steals to help Rutgers rally from 11 points down and earn a spot in the Big East tournament final.

The top-seeded Scarlet Knights (25-5), winner of 10 straight, will play No. 13 Connecticut in Tuesday night's final.

Cappie Pondexter had nine of her 15 points in 15-0 second-half run, sparked by the Scarlet Knights' trademark defense.

Jackie Adamschick led the Wildcats (19-11) with 19 points, going 4-for-4 from 3-point range. Villanova finished 10-for-15 from behind the arc.

No. 13 Connecticut 67, No. 10 Notre Dame 54

HARTFORD, Conn. — Barbara Turner had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead Connecticut in the Big East tournament semifinals.

The Huskies (22-7) face regular-season champ Rutgers for the title Tuesday night in a matchup of the top defensive teams in the league. The Scarlet Knights ended UConn's reign of 11 straight regular-season titles.

No. 15 Temple 70, George Washington 62

WASHINGTON — Candice Dupree scored 21 points and Temple won its second straight Atlantic 10 tournament title and earned an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.

The Owls (27-3) won their 24th straight, the longest winning streak in the nation.

After trailing by as many as 16, Jessica Simmonds scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half to help the Colonials (22-8) draw to 56-52 with 2:45 left.

No. 24 Wis.-Green Bay 58, Wright St. 48

DAYTON, Ohio — Tiffany Mor had 14 points and Wisconsin-Green Bay won its fourth consecutive Horizon League title and earned an NCAA automatic bid.

Natalie Berglin also had 14 for the top-seeded Phoenix (27-3), who will make their eighth appearance in the NCAA tournament. Berglin made all 10 of her free-throw attempts down the stretch to prevent a rally by the third-seeded Raiders.

Jeanette Woodberry led Wright State (19-11) with 13 points and Whitney Lewis added 12. The Raiders had their first winning season since going 17-11 in 1987-88.

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