[to top of second column]
"People ask what did we say after they hit that shot? We didn't say anything," Bennett said. "We played good defense and they hit a tough shot. I don't have to coach leadership. The leadership is already there."
Despite having to go another five minutes, Jones said Saint Mary's players knew they were still the tougher team.
"In the end, we got it done," Jones said.
The teams were meeting for the 12th time in four years in a rivalry that is perhaps the fiercest on the West Coast right now.
At least one player called it a "hate-hate" relationship before the game, with Sacre saying it was personal and a matter of pride.
It lived up to its billing.
There were 14 lead changes and nine ties.
Saint Mary's led by as many as eight points early in the second half, but Gonzaga hung tight, pulling within 63-62 on Pangos' only 3-pointer with 3:58 left.
The Gaels still led 68-63 with 31 seconds left, but Harris hit a driving layup with 15 seconds remaining then sank the game-tying 3-pointer.
Both teams had chances to take command in the overtime.
In addition to the collision between Pangos and Dellavadova with 39 seconds left in OT, Page grabbed a key rebound for Saint Mary's then sank two free throws to put the Gaels up 76-72. Dower's layup cut it to two again, but Dellavedova was fouled breaking through Gonzaga's full-court press and converted the free throws for the final margin.
Delly Dazzles read the sign in the crowd.
"He's got it all," Bennett said of Dellavedova, who was born outside Melbourne, Australia, but learned basketball from his father in a Friday night league. "I don't know if I've ever coached a guy's who's as good a leader. He studies it, cares about it. He knows in game like this, he's supposed to step up."
Now it's on to the NCAAs, and Bennett believes a game like Monday's can only help the Gaels.
"We haven't played many close games," Bennett said. "You get confidence playing close games by having success. We probably had 3 all year. ... I think our guys will be even more resilient and tougher and harder to beat."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor