SPOKANE – While his players chanted “Got the hardware,” Gonzaga men’s basketball coach Mark Few pondered a question about what sort of season this has been for the No. 3 Zags.
“Incredible,” Few said.
Gonzaga lost four starters from last season, and top returning player Killian Tillie was sidelined with an injury when this season started. But the Zags found new stars and didn’t miss a step.
Filip Petrusev scored 27 points and Gonzaga beat Saint Mary’s 86-76 on Saturday night to finish the regular season with a sweep of its rival. The Zags were presented with the West Coast Conference regular-season trophy after the game.
“I’ve never had a team surprise me as much as this one did,” Few said. “We don’t have lottery picks. But they worked and listened and were coachable. Our whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts.”
Corey Kispert added 20 points and Tillie scored 13 for Gonzaga (29-2 overall, 15-1 WCC), which won the conference regular-season title for the eighth consecutive season.
Jordan Ford scored 28 points and Malik Fitts added 15 for Saint Mary’s (24-7, 11-5),
It was Senior Night and Washington Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura, a former Zag, was introduced after the seniors.
Wirth twins excel for Gonzaga women
PORTLAND – Jenn Wirth contributed 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, twin sister LeeAnne Wirth also scored 14, and No. 11 Gonzaga wrapped up the program’s best regular season with a 56-42 victory over Portland.
“The difference (in the second half) was that we defended the paint much better, and we didn’t settle for crazy early shots,” Gonzaga coach Lisa Fortier said.
Gonzaga (28-2, 17-1), which had already clinched the WCC regular-season title, matched the record for conference victories it set in 2018.
Haylee Andrews had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Portland (18-11, 11-7).
Gonzaga’s only loss in conference play was 70-60 to Saint Mary’s in Moraga, Calif., on Feb. 8.