Final - OT
  for this game

St. Mary's downs Gonzaga to move into tie atop WCC

Feb 5, 2008 - 8:15 AM MORAGA, California (Ticker) -- It wasn't easy for St. Mary's to tie Gonzaga for the top spot in the West Coast Conference.

Patrick Mills scored 23 points to lead the the 23rd-ranked Gaels to a 89-85 overtime victory over the Bulldogs in a pivotal WCC matchup on Monday.

Todd Golden scored 19 points and hit all six of his 3-pointers as the Gaels (19-3, 6-1 WCC) moved into a tie for first place in the conference with their second straight victory and moved to 10-0 at home this season.

Jeremy Pargo had 27 points for Gonzaga (17-6, 6-1), which lost against St. Mary's for just the third time in the last 25 meetings.

In the extra period, the Gaels jumped out to a quick 77-74 advantage before Pargo hit two straight 3-pointers sandwiched around a layup by Omar Samhan to give Gonzaga a one-point lead.

But Samhan, who finished with 15 points, made another layup to put the Gaels back on top, 81-80, before Golden hit his final three of the night as St. Mary's claimed a four-point lead, which it never relinquished.

The Gaels hit 26-of-42 free-throws while Gonzaga made 12-of-18 at the free-throw line.

At the end of regulation, Pargo single-handedly kept the Bulldogs in the game, scoring on a drive to the hoop with 16 seconds remaining to narrow the deficit to just one point.

Mills, the Gaels' leading scorer, was fouled immediately and made the second of a pair of free throws.

On the ensuing possession, Pargo once again drove to the basket, passing to a wide open Abdullahi Kuso, who tied the score, 74-74, with a slam dunk after he was left alone when the defense collapsed on Gonzaga's speedy point guard.

Kuso finished with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting while adding 12 rebounds, recording his third double-double of the season.

The two teams traded the lead throughout the first half as the Gaels carried a 39-37 advantage into the locker rooms.

St. Mary's and Gonzaga continued to trade blows in the second half before the Gaels forged a 64-57 lead - their largest of the night - when Samhan hit a layup with about five minutes left in the second half.

Gonzaga began to close the gap when Pargo converted a three-point play after he was fouled while driving to the lane to narrow St. Mary's lead to four.

After a missed 3-pointer by the Gaels' Carlin Hughes, freshman Stephen Gray drilled a 3-pointer to narrow the lead, 64-62, forcing the Gaels to take a timeout.

Following the timeout, Mills made an acrobatic underhanded layup to put St. Mary's up by four, but a 3-pointer by Austin Daye on the other end narrowed the Gaels' advantage to just one, 68-67.

Mills missed a layup on St. Mary's ensuing possession and Gonzaga took the lead when Matt Bouldin was fouled on a layup and made the free throw to give the Bulldogs a 70-68 advantage.

But Mills, who was 13-of-18 from the free-throw line, tied the score, 70-70, from the free-throw line with 1:34 left to play.

Mills then gave St. Mary's a three-point lead when he picked up a loose ball off of a bad pass by Gonzaga and went coast-to-coast, scoring on a layup and converting a free throw when he was fouled by Daye with 23 seconds left in the game.