National Basketball Association
Gonzaga 81, San Francisco 77
When: 9:00 PM ET, Monday, March 9, 2020
Where: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
# Verne Harris, # Chris Rastatter, # Mike Reed
Killian Tillie recorded 19 points and 10 rebounds to help second-ranked Gonzaga escape with an 81-77 victory over San Francisco in the West Coast Conference semifinals on Monday night in Las Vegas.
Ryan Woolridge scored 16 points as the top-seeded Bulldogs (30-2) advanced to the WCC title game for the 23rd straight season. Joel Ayayi added 14 points and nine rebounds, and Filip Petrusev had 14 points and seven rebounds.
Gonzaga's championship-game opponent Tuesday will be third-seeded Saint Mary's (26-7), which upset second-seeded BYU 51-50 in the second semifinal.
Charles Minlend scored 19 points and Khalil Shabazz added 17 for the fifth-seeded Dons (22-12), who had a five-game winning streak halted. Jimbo Lull had 13 points, and Remu Raitanen contributed 11 points and eight rebounds for San Francisco, which shot 46.9 percent from the field and 6 of 26 from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the field but were just 3 of 12 from behind the arc.
San Francisco had a chance to knot the score, but Shabazz's 3-point attempt with 18 seconds left but bounced off the rim.
Tillie later made two free throws with 5.9 seconds left to make it a four-point game as the Bulldogs closed it out.
Ayayi scored two straight baskets to give the Bulldogs a 73-69 lead with 3:33 remaining.
Lull missed a layup and fouled out while competing for the rebound with 2:20 left. Tillie split the two free throws to make it a five-point margin.
Minlend scored with 2:08 left to move the Dons within 74-71. Ayayi hit two free throws 15 seconds later to push the lead to five and later drove through the defense to make it 78-72 with 1:15 remaining.
Shabazz connected on a 3-pointer to move the Dons within 78-75 with 1:05 left. But his tying attempt was off the mark, and a valiant upset bid ended with San Francisco's 19th straight loss against Gonzaga.
San Francisco trailed by five at halftime but recovered to tie the score at 47 on a layup by Shabazz with 13:46 remaining.
The Dons took their first lead of the contest when Minlend converted a three-point play for a 54-53 lead with 11:43 remaining.
Woolridge scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting as Gonzaga led 40-35 at the break.
Woolridge's 3-pointer gave the Bulldogs a 21-9 advantage with 13:12 remaining in the first half before the Dons erupted with a 16-4 surge, tying the score at 25 on Raitanen's 3-pointer with 6:29 left.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Charles Minlend 19
Killian Tillie 19
Jamaree Bouyea 4
Filip Petrusev 3
Remu Raitanen 8
Killian Tillie 10
Charles Minlend 5
||Free Throws Made
Killian Tillie 6
Remu Raitanen 2
Killian Tillie 2
Jamaree Bouyea 1
Corey Kispert 1
Team Stats Summary