The Saint Mary's Gaels had to work to get to the West Coast Conference Tournament final. But in a workmanlike 83-78 win over the San Francisco Dons, the top-seeded Gaels secured a chance to play for an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
Clint Steindl had 19 points, Matthew Dellavedova added 17, and all five Gaels starters finished in double figures. Saint Mary's had 20 assists on 20 made field goals, and shot 54.2 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from the three-point line.
The Dons gave the Gaels all they could handle, and led at the half. But Cody Doolin's 28 points couldn't compensate for San Francisco's defensive meltdown in the second half: the Dons allowed 49 points, and the Gaels missed just one shot in the game's final 10 minutes.
The Gaels will meet the winner of BYU-Gonzaga for the WCC tournament title.
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