NCAA

Gaels going dancing after beating Gonzaga in WCC tourney

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Gaels going dancing after beating Gonzaga in WCC tourney

BOX SCORE
LAS VEGAS (AP) With the score deadlocked in overtime and the ball bouncing free, opposing guards Matthew Dellavedova and Kevin Pangos collided near the scorer's table.The guy who grew up around Aussie Rules Football made sure he got there first, and it proved critical as Saint Mary's pulled out a 78-74 OT victory Monday night over Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference tournament championship."I was trying to get my body in front of it," said Dellavedova, who led the Gaels with 22 points. "It goes back to Australia Rules footy. I was pretty happy they called the foul on him, but I guess it could have gone either way."Dellavedova would get the call and sink the free throws, and later add two more to secure the win over No. 24 Gonzaga and an NCAA bid.It was Saint Mary's second WCC tourney title in three years. But it was the first time the Gaels (27-5) have won the regular-season title outright and claimed the tourney championship the same year."I'm just a bit relieved that we finally got it done," Dellavedova said. "We'll enjoy this but once we get back (to California), we're going to focus, work hard again to get ready for the (NCAA) tourney because we want to do some things there."The Bulldogs, despite some big wins and a 25-6 overall record, will have to wait for the selection committee to find out if they'll make the NCAA field."It was a great ball game, two high-level tournament teams going at it and battling," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "Forty minutes wasn't enough so we needed another five, and in the end they stepped up and made big shots."Elias Harris led Gonzaga with 22 points, including a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left in regulation to force the extra period.Dellavedova, the WCC player of the year, had a chance to win it at the buzzer in regulation but his runner bounced off the rim.The junior point guard also gets plenty of credit for forcing Pangos into a miserable shooting night, just two days after the WCC newcomer of the year lit up Brigham Young for 30 points.Pangos finished with seven points on 3-of-18 shooting. He was just 1 of 10 from 3-point range. Center Robert Sacre finished with 17 points for Gonzaga while Sam Dower added 14 off the bench."Pangos had a really good night the other night and he hurt us up at Gonzaga," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said of a Feb. 9 loss in which Pangos scored 27 points and hit five 3-pointers."He won't go 1 of 10 very often, but Matt did a good job of making him take tough shots."Saint Mary's also got help from Clint Steindl defending Pangos, and had post players rotate over as well.Rob Jones was just as valuable for the Gaels, adding 18 points and nine rebounds, while Jorden Page, another Aussie, added 16 points and Brad Waldow had 13 and eight rebounds."The stars showed up tonight," Bennett said. "It was fun, a little too exciting down the stretch. ... but I'm really pleased."He said it was important no one panicked after Harris forced overtime with the huge 3."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."

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report