<
>

Saint Mary's 83, Portland 69

MORAGA, Calif. -- Saint Mary's clinched a share of its first WCC regular season title in 14 years and the top seed in next week's conference tournament by beating Portland 83-69 on Saturday night behind 21 points from Matthew Dellavedova.

Stephen Holt added 16 points and Mickey McConnell 15 for the Gaels (23-7, 11-3), who snapped a three-game losing streak that cost them a chance at an outright title.

That skid also hurt Saint Mary's case for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, meaning the Gaels may need to win the WCC tournament to be assured of an NCAA berth in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history. By beating the Pilots (20-10, 7-7), Saint Mary's will have the top seed in Las Vegas by winning the tiebreaker over Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs moved into a tie for first by winning 89-85 in overtime at Saint Mary's on Thursday night and clinched a share of their 11th straight conference title by winning at San Diego earlier in the day. Both teams will have a bye until the semifinals.

The Gaels turned the tables on the Pilots, who used a 27-2 run to open the second half to beat Saint Mary's 85-70 at home last month. The Gaels got three early 3-pointers from Holt, who is from Portland, and opened the second half on a 21-6 run that turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 59-45 lead.