March 13 (UPI) -- Saint Mary's ended No. 1 Gonzaga's six-year reign as West Coast Conference champions with a 60-47 win in the title game Tuesday night.
The Gaels (22-11) earned their first WCC championship in nine years and ended Gonzaga's 18-game winning streak in the conference tournament, dating to the 2012 title game. With the victory, Saint Mary's clinched a berth in the NCAA tournament after a one-year hiatus.
Saint Mary's slowed down the game and had a defense-first approach, holding the Bulldogs to a low 37.5 shooting percentage (18-of-48). The Gaels contained Gonzaga standout and leading scorer Rui Hachimura, who averages 20.1 points per game this season, to nine points.
The Gaels locked down the perimeter, limiting the Zags to 2-of-17 shooting from 3-point territory. The loss snapped the Bulldogs' (30-3) nation-best 21-game win streak.
"They have two of the best bigs in the country," Saint Mary's center Jordan Hunter said. "We knew they were going to get their buckets, we just knew we needed to make it tough for them. Every possession just make it as hard as possible and do our bit on the offensive end."
What a night!— Saint Mary's Hoops (@saintmaryshoops) March 13, 2019
Gaels defeat No. 1 Gonzaga to claim the WCC Championship tournament title and will now play in the NCAA "March Madness" Tournament.
Read the recap ⬇️https://t.co/KHkjonN8FY
Hunter, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, had a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Junior guard Jordan Ford scored a game-high 17 points.
Gaels guard Tanner Krebs added 13 points and forward Malik Fitts had eight points and three rebounds.
Brandon Clarke led Gonzaga with 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Josh Perkins had 10 points, four assists and two boards.
Gonzaga previously dominated the conference in the regular season, posting a 16-0 record while winning by a WCC-record 27 points per game. The Bulldogs swept the Gaels in the regular season, winning each game by double digits.
Both teams await their NCAA seedings on Selection Sunday this weekend.