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The Bay Area was well represented in the West Coast Conference end of season honors. We break down the USF and Saint Mary's players who were honored.
The Saint Mary's Gaels secured their first sole WCC regular season championship on Saturday as they defeated the San Francisco Dons 67-60. Gonzaga won earlier in the day, but the Gaels took care of business in a crucial road matchup.
Saint Mary's secured the number one seed on Thursday with their win over Portland, but snagging sole possession of the conference title looks better when the NCAA selection committee is determining tournament seeding. The key for the Gaels will be taking home the WCC postseason title. A regular season title is important, but winning out in the tournament is the next big step.
Saint Mary's has earned a pair of byes in the tournament courtesy of their number one seed. Santa Clara and Portland will square off in the play-in game next Wednesday. The winner of that game advances to face San Francisco in the second round. On the other side, San Diego meets Pepperdine. The winner of San Francisco/Santa Clara/Portland then faces Loyola Marymount, while the winner of San Diego/Pepperdine faces BYU. In the semifinals, Saint Mary's fces the winner of USF/SC/UP/LMU and Gonzaga faces the winner of BYU/USD/PU.
The St. Mary's, Calif. Gaels visited the San Francisco Dons in a WCC showdown on Saturday night and the last regular-season game of the year. The Gaels picked up the 67-60 win after trailing at halftime and with the win, clinched the WCC regular season title. They will head into the WCC Tournament as the No. 1 seed. The Gaels won the title outright, marking the first time in the past decade that the Gonzaga Bulldogs have not won or claimed a share of the top spot in the conference.
The Gaels trailed at halftime by a score of 37-36 but came back in the second half to secure the seven-point win. Clint Steindl of St. Mary's led all scorers with 16 points. Rob Jones contributed a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Brad Waldow had 10 points and 12 board. On the USF side, Cody Doolin scored 13 points to lead the pack.
The Dons will enter the WCC Tournament as the No. 5 seed, based on the Gonzaga Bulldogs having defeated the San Diego Toreros.
The Saint Mary's Gaels travel across the Bay on Saturday to face the San Francisco Dons in the 172nd meeting of the Bay Area rivals. USF has lost twelve straight to the Gaels, but will be looking to build off their last second home upset of the Gonzaga Bulldogs last weekend. Saint Mary's is looking to clinch the WCC regular season title and deny Gonzaga a shared title for the first time in over a decade.
Thanks to the tie-breaker edge over Gonzaga, Saint Mary's has already clinched the number one seed in the tournament following their Thursday win over Portland. However, a Saint Mary's win on Saturday or a Gonzaga loss to San Diego would end Gonzaga's reign of conference regular season titles.
Saint Mary's has a bye through to the semifinals where they will face the winner of the 5/8/9/4 quarterfinal matchup. The eight and nine seeds (likely to be Portland and Santa Clara) square off in the Wednesday play-in game. The winner of that game advances to face the five seed in the second round. As it currently stands, USF would be that seed. They are currently a game up on San Diego, who is hosting Gonzaga on Saturday.
The winner of a potential USF/Santa Clara/Portland matchup would advance to face the four seed. Right now, Loyola Marymount is the four, but if LMU beats Santa Clara and Portland beats BYU (not likely), BYU drops into the four seed. The winner of that contest then advances to face Saint Mary's in the semifinals.
The Saint Mary's Gaels had little trouble getting back on the winning track Thursday as they defeated the Portland Pilots 70-43 on ESPNU. The win, coupled with Loyola Marymount's upset loss to the San Diego Toreros allows SMC to clinch the number one seed in next week's WCC tournament. Gonzaga and BYU are squaring off tonight and the winner could still clinch a share of the WCC regular season title, but tiebreakers give Saint Mary's the edge for seeding purposes.
The Gaels put together a dominant defensive effort as they held the Pilots to only 18 points in the first half. They coupled that with a complete team effort on offense to get the easy win. Clint Steindl led five different players in double-digit scoring with 15 points. Rob Jones put together yet another double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds while Matthew Dellavedova filled up the box score with 12 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Beau Levesque and MItchell Young each added ten points.
The Gaels will cross the Bay for their season finale on Saturday when they face the San Francisco Dons. USF is coming off a last second upset of the Gonzaga Bulldogs and is looking to finish the season on a hot streak heading into the WCC tournament. SMC will look to clinch the entire WCC regular season title and ending Gonzaga's run of full or shared titles since 2000-01.
The Saint Mary's Gaels return to the court Thursday evening looking to get back on the winning track as they travel to face the Portland Pilots at 7:00pm PT on ESPNU. SMC has lost three of their last four games to drop to 23-5 and 12-2 in conference. They are fortunate that Gonzaga dropped a road game to the San Francisco Dons to remain a game back in the standings.
This marks the final week of regular season play in the WCC with the conference tournament scheduled to start Wednesday February 29. A win or a BYU loss at Gonzaga will secure a top two seed for Saint Mary's, which means two byes in the tournament. A win and a BYU win secures the top seed as with one game to go Saint Mary's would be two up on Gonzaga and a game up on BYU with the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The Gaels defeated Portland 69-61 in their first meeting on January 14, in a contest that was not as close as the score would indicate. SMC was led by Stephen Holt who scored 21 points and added seven rebounds, five assists and five steals. Holt will not play in this game as he continues recovering from a knee injury likely to sideline him into the next week at least.
The Gaels are coming off back-to-back blowout losses to Murray State and Loyola Marymount. They beat Santa Clara at home prior to that but were beaten handily by Gonzaga the game before. Although a potential at-large bid remains relatively secure, another loss in the regular season would put them in a tough position.
The St. Mary's Gaels hit the road on Saturday afternoon to face the Murray State Racers in a matchup that was featured on ESPN's BracketBusters national broadcast. Both teams were hoping to gain some ground in the national polls, with the Gaels in particular figuring to benefit greatly from a win over the Racers. Unfortunately, Murray State put it all together and walked away with the 65-51 win.
St. Mary's was in a sizable hole early on, as they trailed 34-25 at halftime. They were unable to really get things going in the second half and shot just 37.7 percent from the floor. They were even worse from beyond the three-point line, sinking just two of 14 attempts for a 14.3 percent rate on treys.
The Gaels once again saw lead scorer Matthew Dellavedova set the pace for the team. The guard picked up 17 points and six assists, being the only St. Mary's player to record double digits in scoring.
With the loss, St. Mary's is now 23-5 overall, with a 12-2 record in the WCC. The Gaels will play their next game on Thursday, Feb. 23, when they visit WCC rivals the Portland Pilots.
The No. 21 Saint Mary's Gaels will be hitting the road on Saturday as they visit the No. 16 Murray St. Racers. This is a huge game for Saint Mary's and a big opportunity for them to make a statement and prove themselves as a legitimate national contender in NCAA men's basketball. Both teams enter the game scuffling just a bit. Murray State lost their first game of the year, but has rebounded since, while Saint Mary's has lost two of three after a 22-2 start to the season.
The game will be featured as an ESPN BracketBusters game on the flagship network. Here are all of the vital stats and info that you'll need to know.
Records: Saint Mary's currently holds a 23-4 overall record and are 12-2 in the WCC. Murray State has a record of 25-1, with a 12-1 OVC record.
Rankings: Saint Mary's is currently ranked at No. 21 on the AP polls and No. 16 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Murray State, meanwhile is ranked at No. 16 on the AP poll and No. 14 on the ESPN/USA Today poll.
Location: The CFSB Center in Murray, Kentucky
Time: 3:00 p.m. PT
TV: The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. Your announcers will be Dave O'Brien and Dick Vitale.
Home vs. Road: Saint Mary's holds a 6-2 road record this year. Murray State is 12-1 at home.
Series History: This is only the third meeting between the two teams and the first to not take place in Moraga. The Gaels won the first two matchups in 2004 and 2006.
The St. Mary's, Calif. Gaels had been perfect all season at home before Wednesday night to the Loyola Marymount Lions. St. Mary's suddenly met an opponent that was deeper and longer than they were, and they punished them all game long.
LMU forced St. Mary's to shoot 38.6% from the field and take 28 three points, making only six of them. St. Mary's also turned the ball over 14 times. Meanwhile Loyola Marymount shot 47% from the field and hit seven of 15 three pointers, all while connecting on 18 of 27 free throws.
Anthony Ireland led the Lions with 16 points and seven assists, Drew Vinney chipped in 17 points of his own, Jarred DuBois had 15 points and five rebounds, and Ashley Hamilton added 11 points of his own. St. Mary's was led by Rob Jones with 25 points and 15 rebounds, but the rest of the team shot 12 for 35 from the field.
LMU improved to 8-3 on the road and improved their chance of a good seeding in the WCC tournament. St. Mary's is still in good shape to win the conference, but they probably do need to win their final head-to-head matchup against Gonzaga to be assured of that title.
The Saint Mary's Gaels return to action Wednesday evening as they host the Loyola Marymount Lions. The Gaels are currently 12-1 in conference play and hold a one-game lead over the Gonzaga Bulldogs. LMU is looking to bounce back from a tough loss in Spokane to Gonzaga. The game marked LMU's first road loss in conference play and dropped them a half game back of the BYU Cougars for third place.
The Gaels face arguably their biggest week of the regular season as they host LMU and then travel to Murray State on Saturday. While neither game can give them a big boost in their NCAA tournament profile, a loss in either game could sting. The Gaels will look for continued strong efforts from Rob Jones and Matthew Dellavedova who have led the way for much of this season.
LMU is two games up on San Francisco for the fourth seed and the bonus bye week that comes with third and fourth place. San Francisco is hosting BYU, but upsets abound late in conference play, so anything is possible. Drew Viney and Anthony Ireland have been hot the last few games and will look to continue leading the Lions.
The Saint Mary's Gaels improved to 23-3 Saturday evening as they outlasted the Santa Clara Broncos 82-67. Santa Clara hung close, trailing by three at the under eight timeout in the second half, but SMC pulled away late. The win improves the Gaels to 12-1 in conference play, leaving them a game ahead of Gonzaga. Santa Clara dropped to 0-12 and is closing in on securing the bottom seed in the WCC tournament.
Rob Jones led the way for Saint Mary's as he led the team with 25 points and 12 rebounds. The performance marked his 15th double-double of the season and he is now averaging 14.6 points per game and 10.6 rebounds per game. He got a lot of help from scoring leader Matthew Dellavedova who contributed 16 points and 10 assists.
Santa Clara got another strong performance from freshman guard Denzel Johnson. He scored 17 points, marking the fifth time in six games he has scored in double digits. He got a significant boost in minutes at that point when Kevin Foster was first sidelined due to his DUI.
Saint Mary's enters a huge week that starts on Thursday with a home contest against Loyola Marymount. The Lions dropped their first conference road game Saturday evening against Gonzaga. The Gaels then get a chance to boost their postseason profile when they travel to Murray State to face the now once-defeated Racers in a Bracketbuster matchup.
Santa Clara is not any closer to a victory as they host Gonzaga and BYU this week. The Broncos have shown some signs of improvement, but they have been coming up short. Although the season has turned ugly, a win over Gonzaga or BYU would provide a positive spin on things.
The Saint Mary's Gaels will come up at least one game short in their bid for a perfect WCC season. Saint Mary's flew up to Spokane with an 11-0 conference record, but they will return to Moraga 11-1 following a tough 73-59 defeat the hands of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga now sits a game back of SMC in the WCC standings.
Although Gonzaga pulled away late, this was a battle for the first three quarters of the game. The teams exchanged leads in the first half before Gonzaga took a lead into halftime. SMC took a two point lead at the 17:37 mark of the second half, but that would prove to be their last lead of the game. It was a sluggish game throughout as neither team could get anything going for a six minute stretch. The teams scored a combined six points from the 15:15 mark to the 9:55 mark as it was a fairly ugly affair.
Saint Mary's struggled mightily shooting the ball, hitting 37.5% of shots from the field and only 23.8% from three. They were beaten on the boards 35-27 and their bench provided little help with only ten points. All in all, it was a struggle for the Gaels.
Saint Mary's heads home for a pair of games, starting with Santa Clara on Saturday. The Broncos have yet to win a conference game, so SMC will look to use it as a rebound game. They follow that up with an unexpected showdown with Loyola Marymount next Thursday. LMU is undefeated on the road, but has yet to travel to Saint Mary's or Gonzaga. They went into Provo and beat BYU, and will look to spring another such upset against the Gaels.
The Murray State Racers tempted fate earlier this week when they released a t-shirt mentioning their undefeated status, and it has officially came back to bite them in the butt. The Racers dropped their first game of the season Thursday evening, losing 72-68 at home to the Tennessee State Tigers. Murray State led by as much as 13 in the second half, but the Tigers stormed back and pulled away in the final four minutes. This came in spite of 31 points from Murray State's Isaiah Canaan.
The Racers still hold a 2 1/2 game over Tennessee State and remain conference favorites. While they should still end up in the NCAA tournament, this loss takes a little bit of the luster off their Bracketbuster matchup against Saint Mary's in ten days. If the Gaels can beat Gonzaga on the road Thursday evening, they would have likely been rolling when they arrived in Murray State. It remains a great matchup, but the Gaels can no longer take the Racers' zero.
The Saint Mary's Gaels travel to Spokane, Washington Thursday evening to face the Gonzaga Bulldogs at 8:00pm PT in arguably the biggest remaining game of the WCC schedule. The Gaels have taken control of the conference, currently holding an 11-0 record in conference play and sitting 2 1/2 games ahead of Gonzaga. An SMC win would complete the Gaels sweep of Gonzaga and BYU, and place them three games up in the loss column with only four conference games remaining.
Saint Mary's had little trouble with Gonzaga in Moraga as they wiped the floor with them 83-62. Matthew Dellavedova led the way with 26 points and six assists. Freshman forward Brad Waldow had one of his biggest performances thus far with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Stephen Holt added 13 points, six assists and five rebounds. Gonzaga got 17 points and 11 rebounds from Elias Harris but was otherwise stymied on the evening.
These two teams squared off in a classic last season as eventual WCC Player of the Year Mickey McConnell connected on a shot with 1.2 seconds remaining to hand the Gaels their first win in Spokane since 1995. Matthew Dellavedova and Rob Jones scored 15 points apiece that game, while Jones grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
This year's contest will be broadcast on ESPN2 with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham calling the action. The game will also be broadcast online via espn3.com and via live audio stream courtesy the subscription service Gaels Live on SMCGaels.com.
The Saint Mary's Gaels avoided a potential upset Thursday evening as they held off the San Diego Toreros in an 84-73 victory that was much closer than the score indicates. San Diego took a 16-13 lead midway through the first half and led as late as the 10:50 mark of the second half. However, Saint Mary's got things together and used a strong close to put the game away.
Saint Mary's was led by another strong effort from Rob Jones who scored 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Stephen Holt added 23 points, four assists and six rebounds, while Matthew Dellavedova added 17 points, five assists and six rebounds. The Gaels bench struggled with no points, leaving it all on the starters to get the victory.
San Diego put together a strong shooting day as they hit on 59.6% of shots from the field. Chris Manresa led the team with 25 points and Dennis Kramer added 17 points, but it was not enough for the upstart Toreros.
Saint Mary's now gets a week off before their biggest remaining conference game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga lost at BYU Thursday evening, which drops them two games back in the loss column. A Saint Mary's win next Thursday would all but lock up the WCC regular season title for the Gaels.
The Saint Mary's Gaels host the struggling San Diego Toreros Thursday evening in a game that some might consider a bit of a trap before a crucial stretch of the schedule. In reality every game is crucial as the Gaels look to run the table, but certain games pique fan interest more than others.
If the Gaels handle their business against San Diego on Thursday, they then enter a four-game stretch that features a trip to Spokane to face conference heavyweight Gonzaga, an always interesting rivalry game against Santa Clara, a home game against the surging Loyola Marymount Lions, and then a significant Bracketbusters Weekend matchup against currently undefeated Murray State.
If the Gaels can continue their winning ways, that four game stretch could put them in a position to secure a fairly high seed if they can win out in the WCC tournament. And yet, none of that means much of anything without a win over San Diego. Given the mid-major status of the WCC, a loss to anybody but Gonzaga and BYU (maybe, at this point) is viewed as a fairly bad loss. It might not be fair, but it is how college basketball operates at times.
The Toreros have exchanged wins and losses over their last seven games and currently sit at 3-6 in WCC play, good for sixth place in the conference. Johnny Dee leads them with 14.5 points per game while Chris Manresa is their primary inside presence. Manresa has five double-doubles and is second on the team with 9.4 points per game.
The 7 p.m. tipoff is untelevised, but there will be a live video stream, featuring SMC play-by-play announcer Mike Bouve, available via subscription service Gaels Live on SMCGaels.com. Live statistics will also be available on the site and frequent Twitter updates will be posted throughout the game (@SMCGaels).
ESPN revealed the matchups for the February 18 Bracketbuster Saturday and the Saint Mary's Gaels might have received the most intriguing matchup of the slate. The Gaels will travel to Murray, Kentucky to face the currently undefeated Murray State Racers. Both teams are fast approaching lock status even without a postseason conference title, but a win for either team in this matchup further solidifies their respective cases.
The Gaels are currently 19-2 versus D-1 opponents with a pair of wins against non-D-1 schools. They are 10-0 in conference with a season sweep of BYU and a chance to equal that against Gonzaga. After falling just short of the NCAA tournament last season, the Gaels are playing like a team possessed as they roll through WCC play. However, if they can claim the Racers' zero, it would add one more big win to their portfolio.
The Racers are sitting at 18-0 versus D-1 schools and 3-0 against non-D-1 schools. Although they are unbeaten, they are not getting quite the respect other undefeated schools might. Murray State's best wins include solid wins over Southern Miss (No. 11 in the RPI) and Memphis (No. 29 in the RPI). A win over Saint Mary's would solidify their at-large chances if they stumbled in the Ohio Valley tournament.
The No. 21 St. Mary's Gaels picked up another easy win on Saturday night to remain undefeated in WCC play. The faced off against the hometown BYU Cougars, who did not pose much of a threat. After the 80-66 victory, the Gaels are now a perfect 9-0 within the conference and boast an overall record of 20-2. The Cougars are now a respectable 6-2 in the WCC and 18-5 overall.
St. Mary's opened up a 40-28 lead entering halftime and never looked back, posting up a second 40 points in the second half.
Gaels forward Brad Waldow led all scorers with 19, also registering a double-double with 11 rebounds. Rob Jones contributed 13 points and nine boards of his own. On the BYU side, Noah Hartsock and Matt Carlino each put up 15 points.
The Gaels will play their next game on Thursday, Feb. 2 as they host the San Diego Toreros at the McKeon Pavilion.
The Saint Mary's Gaels travel to Provo, Utah to face the BYU Cougars Saturday evening in the second half of their season series. The Gaels blew out BYU in the WCC opener and have since run off a nine-game winning streak to take control of the conference lead. BYU has stumbled in their inaugural (and possibly only) season in the WCC with a second conference loss at home to Loyola Marymount. The Cougars sit 2 1/2 games back of SMC in the standings.
The Cougars will be looking to exact some revenge for the blowout they suffered in the season opener. Senior forward Noah Hartsock leads the Cougars with 17.7 points per game, while junior forward Brandon Davies scores 14.3 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with eight per game. Freshman transfer guard Matt Carlino is averaging 12.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.
The Gaels will continue to look to Matthew Dellavedova, Rob Jones and Stephen Holt to lead the way. Dellavedova leads the team in scoring and is eighth in the nation with 6.5 assists per game. Rob Jones is second in the nation with 14 scoring/rebounding double-doubles and is having one of the best seasons in the country. Stephen Holt leads the conference in steals and is the second-best shooter in the conference.
ESPNU has picked up the game and will air it at 6:00pm PT. Dave Fleming and Sean Farnham will announce SMC's seventh game on the ESPN network.
The Saint Mary's Gaels continued their best start in school history as they improved to 20-2 with a 71-64 victory over the Loyola Marymount Lions. SMC overcame an early LMU run to improve to 9-0 in conference play. The Gaels hold a two game lead over the Gonzaga Bulldogs who are in Portland looking to keep pace with Saint Mary's. The Lions drop to 13-9 overall and 5-3 in conference play. They hold a game and a half lead over the San Francisco Dons who defeated Santa Clara Thursday evening.
The Gaels were led to victory by a complete effort across the starting lineup. Stephen Holt led the team with 19 points, but the star of the game was Rob Jones with 11 points and 15 rebounds. This marked his fourth straight double-double and 14th on the season. Matthew Dellavedova added 13 points and seven assists.
The Lions looked like they were going to give the Gaels all they could handle early on when they grabbed a six point lead with 4:18 to go in the first half. However, Saint Mary's closed the half with a 12-2 run and opened the second half with a 10-0 run. LMU would not cut the lead below six the rest of the way.
The Gaels head into the last weekend in January with a huge opportunity on the horizon. This Saturday they travel to Provo, Utah to face the BYU Cougars. Saint Mary's is two games up in the loss column with a WCC-opening home thrashing of BYU under the belt. If they can complete the sweep, before traveling to Gonzaga in two weeks, Saint Mary's will be an excellent position for the conference tournament.
The Saint Mary's Gaels continue their season-long three-game road trip as they head to Southern California to face the Loyola Marymount Lions. The Gaels are off to their best overall start in school history with a 19-2 record and their 8-0 conference record is their best start to conference play in over 50 years. The LMU Lions are 12-8 overall and 5-2 in conference where they sit firmly in fourth place, a year removed from a 2-12 conference record.
Saint Mary's currently leads the WCC in five statistical categories including scoring defense, scoring margin, rebound defense, rebound margin and assist/turnover ratio. Junior Matthew Dellavedova leads the way with a team-high 15.8 points and a league-leading 6.5 assists per game. Senior forward Rob Jones remains the leader in rebounds while sophomore Stephen Holt leads the conference in steals.
The next three weeks could prove crucial to Saint Mary's regular season conference title hopes. After LMU on Thursday, the Gaels travel to Provo to face BYU on Saturday, followed by a home game against San Diego next Thursday. They get a week off before heading to Spokane for a showdown with Gonzaga in what could be a battle for the regular season crown. SMC is putting itself in position for at least an at-large bid, but given last year's disappointing non-selection, every win is essential.
The No. 23 St. Mary's Gaels visited the Santa Clara Broncos on Saturday night in hopes of remaining undefeated in WCC play. The Broncos, meanwhile were looking for their very first win within the conference. After a hot start to their season, Santa Clara has been on a prolonged slide since just before the season's WCC play began.
Saint Mary's appeared to be in trouble early, as they trailed for a large portion of the first half, but battled back to enter halftime down by just one point on a score of 47-46. After the break, however, it was all Gaels. They scored 47 more points in the second half to waltz to a comfortable 93-77 win and improve to 8-0 in conference play, while the Broncos fell to 0-5, with an overall record of 8-10.
Matthew Dellavedova of Saint Mary's led all scorers with 26 points. Gaels forward Brad Waldow recorded a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds. On the Broncos end of things, forward Niyi Harrison had another strong game, leading Santa Clara scorers with 23 points and eight rebounds. Guard Kevin Foster chipped in with 22 points of his own.
Santa Clara will play their next game on Monday, January 23 as they host the Loyola Marymount Lions. The Gaels also have Loyola Maymount as their next opponents. They will visit the Lions on Thursday, January 26.
The Saint Mary's Gaels continued their strong run through WCC play as they improved to 7-0 and a game and a half over the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Gaels defeated the Pepperdine Waves 61-47 in a game they never trailed. Saint Mary's benefited from BYU's stunning upset loss at home to Loyola Marymount. The unexpected home loss drops BYU two full games back of the Gaels in the conference standings.
Rob Jones led the way with his 12th double-double as he finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Matthew Dellavedova and Stephen Holt added double digit points to guide the Gaels to victory. Pepperdine got a combined 27 points from Caleb Willis and Jordan Baker, but not a whole lot else. It was not a perfect showing from the Gaels but it was a solid victory that keeps them at the top of the standings.
The Gaels win marked the end of a four-game home stand as they will now head on the road for three games against Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount and BYU. The Gaels will be favored in the first two games, but it will be interesting to see how much BYU is favored in their contest in Provo. Saint Mary's blew them out in Moraga, and given the Cougars home loss to LMU, it could make for an interesting spread.
The Saint Mary's Gaels look to remain unbeaten in WCC play as they welcome the Pepperdine Waves to Moraga on Thursday evening. The Gaels destroyed Pepperdine 74-45 when the teams met up on New Yeas Eve and will look to secure the season sweep. Tip is set for 7:00pm PT.
SMC has put together a solid unit of players as they have three of the top ten scorers in WCC play. In conference play, Matthew Dellavedova is averaging 18.7 points per game, Rob Jones is averaging 15.2 and Stephen Holt is averaging 14.5 per game. Jones also leads the league in rebounding at 10.3 rebounds per game, Dellavedova leads with 7.2 assists per game and Jones, Holt and Jorden Page are all in the top ten in steals per game.
Saint Mary's is a 23.5 point favorite over Pepperdine and will look to finish off a four-game homestand in style. The Gaels will then head on the road for three games at Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount and a huge showdown at Brigham Young.
The Saint Mary's Gaels completed a three game sweep of the week as they defeated the Portland Pilots 69-61 in a home contest. The victory improved Saint Mary's to 17-2 overall and 6-0 in conference play, giving them a 1 1/2 game lead on Gonzaga and BYU. The loss dropped Portland to 5-13 overall and 2-13 in conference play.
The Gaels were in a dogfight for much of the first half as Portland hung steady, sitting tied at the under-eight timeout. However, Saint Mary's went on a 7-0 run and never trailed by less than five after that. Stephen Holt was the star of the game for SMC as he scored 21 points, and added seven rebounds, five assists and five steals. Rob Jones added ten points, but nobody else got into double digits.
The Gaels are virtually a lock to get into the Coaches Poll Top 25 this week following their home victory over Gonzaga. Kansas State lost twice to likely join Gonzaga in falling out of the poll.
Brad Waldow added 17 points and Stephen Holt scored 13 with six assists and five rebounds for the Gaels (16-2, 5-0 WCC), who have won six straight games.
Elias Harris posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Kevin Pangos donated 12 points for Gonzaga (13-3, 3-1), which saw its eight- game winning streak come to an end.
The two teams felt each other out over the first 10 minutes, exchanging baskets and playing to a 15-15 draw. Saint Mary's opened a 24-18 lead on Mitchell Young's layup, but the Bulldogs roared back to a stalemate at 29-29 on Guy Landry Edi's tip off his own miss with just under five minutes to go.
That tip represented Gonzaga's final points of the half. The Gaels scored the final eight with Dellavedova's free throw closing out the scoring at 37-29.
The entire second half must have felt like the final five minutes of the first for Gonzaga, which was got in the way of Dellavedova's scoring onslaught. The margin quickly grew to double digits at 48-37 thanks to Clint Steindl's three, and Dellavedova's trey a few minutes later made the score 59-45.
The advantage grew even higher when Dellavedova drained another triple, his one from the left wing for a 69-52 lead. He wasn't done, as another not even two minutes later kept the 17-point margin, 72-55.
So far, the St. Mary's Gaels are passing their biggest test of the season as they take a 37-29 lead into halftime against the No. 21/23 Gonzaga Bulldogs in Moraga in a battle of the two remaining unbeaten WCC squads.
Matthew Dellavedova has put the Gaels on his back so far, scoring 15 points and dishing out three assists. Brad Waldow added seven points and five rebounds while no one else on the team has more than five points so far. St. Mary's is shooting 47% from the field and 33% from three-point land, where they've made 4-of-12.
Meanwhile, the Zags have been spreading it around, save for Elias Harris who has eight points and five rebounds. Overall, Gonaga is shooting 38% on the night, however their three-point shooting is keeping them in the game (4-of-7).
St. Mary's leads in the rebounding battle 20-16 and if they can keep the shooting up, they'll score the upset and take control of the WCC.
The Saint Mary's Gaels face their biggest test of the season as they welcome the No. 21/23 Gonzaga Bulldogs to Moraga in a battle of the two remaining unbeaten WCC squads. Saint Mary's is 15-2 overall and 4-0 heading into the game, while Gonzaga is 13-2 and 3-0 in conference. The game tips off at 8:00pm PT and will be broadcast on ESPN2 and streamed live online at ESPN3.com with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham calling the action. The game will also be broadcast internationally on ESPN Pacific Rim and and ESPN Brazil and on tape delay by ESPN2 Australia.
SMC is off to the second best start in school history and are receiving votes in the AP Poll and Coaches Poll. Following their win over San Francisco on Monday, a win over Gonzaga followed by a Saturday win over Portland would just about assure the Gaels of a spot in next week's Top 25.
The Gaels are off to a strong start in a West Coast Conference that has taken a step forward with the addition of BYU. The Gaels handled the Cougars with ease in their WCC opener and have continued their strong play. Saint Mary's ranks among the top-2 in the WCC in 14 of 21 statistical categories including scoring margin (+17.4), scoring defense (59.5), rebounding defense (29.2), rebound margin (+9.0) and assist/turnover ratio (1.4).
Gonzaga is averaging 75.2 points per game and is third in the league in scoring margin. The Bulldogs give-up 61.9 points per game and hold opponents to .462 from the field and .325 from 3-point range. Freshman Kevin Pangos is the team's scoring leader, averaging 14.2 points per game. He is shooting .400 from 3-point range and connects on 2.5 treys per game.
Elias Harris and David Stockton are the league's top two outside shooters, ranking one and two in 3-point field goal percentage. Harris averages 12.7 points and leads the team with 7.7 rebound per game. Center Robert Sacre is among the WCC's top-10 in rebounds, averaging 6.8 per game, while Sam Dower is second in field goal percentage.
Saint Mary's and Gonzaga have won or shared every regular season WCC title since 2001 and have met in the last three WCC championship games. Needless to say, this is kind of a big game.
The St. Mary's Gaels rolled up the San Francisco Dons to keep them on the top of the WCC. St. Mary's shot 67% from the field to 47% of USF, out rebounded the Dons 31-20, and had five more assists. St. Mary's led by 12 at halftime and had as much as a 20 point lead en route to starting conference play 3-0.
St. Mary's was led by their incredible shooter Matthew Dellavedova, who shot 9 of 13 from the field and knocked down six threes to finish with 27 points, six rebounds and four assists. Rob Jones shot 7 of 11 (three threes as well) and finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, and then Stephen Holt nearly had a triple double with 11 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
The University of San Francisco Dons travel to Moraga to face the Saint Mary's Gaels in a Bay Area rivalry game that will be featured on Comcast SportsNet California. The Dons are struggling early in conference play, having dropped their first two games. The Gaels have shot out to 3-0 in conference play and have a chance to climb into the Coaches Poll Top 25 with a sweep of USF, Gonzaga and Portland this week.
Saint Mary's has claimed eleven straight meetings in this series and 16 of the last 18. The most recent game saw SMC defeat USF 86-68 last February. USF last beat Saint Mary's in 2006 when they won 53-52 at home. The Dons are coming off a poor shooting night that doomed them against the BYU Cougars. Saint Mary's had to battle well into the second half to defeat San Diego on the road, but benefited from a huge night from Rob Jones, who scored 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the victory.
The Dons are led by Angelo Caloiaro who averages a team leading 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. They will need strong contributions from Perris Blackwell, Rashad Green and Michael Williams if they are going to spring the upset. The Dons are 17 point underdogs in Moraga.
Saint Mary's ranks in the top-two among West Coast Conference leaders in nearly every offensive category, including scoring (76.2) field goal percentage (.472) and scoring margin (+17.6). Rob Jones leads the way for SMC and averages a double-double with 15.2 points and a team-high 10.6 rebounds. Junior guard Matthew Dellavedova adds 14.4 points and 6.6 assists per game.
The Saint Mary's Gaels visited the San Diego Toreros on Thursday night and walked away with yet another win in WCC play. They bested the Toreros by a final score of 78-72 to improve to 3-0 in WCC play. They now hold an overall record of 14-2. With the loss, San Diego drops to 0-2 for in-conference play and an overall record of 5-9.
The Gaels took a 7-6 lead within the first six minutes of the game and held the lead until San Diego pulled ahead 29-28 with 1:46 remaining in the half on a Dennis Kramer dunk. St. Mary's was able to reclaim the lead in the final minute and head into halftime up 35-33 thanks to a Jorden Page trey.
The Toreros came back and reclaimed the lead a few times in the second half, but the Gaels were able to pull away in the final eight minutes of play en route to the final score of 78-72.
St. Mary's will play their next game on Monday, January 9th as they host the San Francisco Dons.
The Saint Mary's Gaels are looking to pick up a big road victory over conference foe San Diego and the team played a solid first half. After twenty minutes of play, the Gaels lead the Toreros by a score of 35-33. The game is currently being aired live on ESPNU.
St. Mary's was led by forward Rob Jones, who has 14 points and six rebounds thus far. His size and athleticism has given San Diego trouble all game. Jorden Page added seven points of his own, while Mitchell Young added four points off the bench to spark the Gaels. The team shot 37% from the field in the first half and hit four of their eight shots from behind the arc, although they made just 11 of their 16 free throw attempts.
San Diego is hanging in with the Gaels at home. Johnny Dee leads their team with 10 points. Darian Norris and Christopher Anderson have done a nice job in the backcourt, scoring seven and six points, respectively.
The second half is about to begin. Saint Mary's could really use the win on the road, especially with the game being a national telecast.
The Saint Mary's Gaels are having a strong season thus far and the program will get a rare chance to play in front of a national audience on Thursday night. As they continue West Coast Conference play, the Gaels will face the San Diego Toreros in what could be a tough road environment. With hopes for an NCAA Tournament bid, St. Mary's needs to play well and show the committee that they are for real in 2012.
As for San Diego, the team has struggled to score the ball this season and have just two players (Johnny Dee, Chris Manresa) averaging double-digit points on a nightly basis. The team enters the game with a record of 5-8, lost their conference play opener against BYU and has not won a game in nearly a month.
Start Time: Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. from San Diego
TV Coverage: ESPNU will broadcast the game live. Check your local listings for which channel that is in your neck of the woods.
Stay tuned for a complete recap of the Gaels.
The Saint Mary's Gaels continued their strong start to West Coast Conference play as they hammered the Pepperdine Waves 74-45. The victory was a strong follow-up to their WCC-opener in which they dispatched BYU with a dominant second half. Saint Mary's improves to 2-0 in conference play and 14-2 overall. Pepperdine drops to 1-1 in conference play and 7-6 overall.
The Gael jumped out to a quick 5-0 and built on it from there, taking a 17 point lead into the half. Rather than ease up coming out for the second half, SMC kept the pedal to the metal as they pushed the lead to as much as 30 points. Considering Pepperdine was coming off a home upset over the San Francisco Dons, this blowout was somewhat surprising. However, SMC is obviously a legit threat once again.
The Gaels put together a solid team effort led by Matthew Dellavedova's 16 point effort. Stephen Holt and Jorden Page each added 14 points to the cause. SMC dominated on the boards 37-22 and did a good job protecting the basketball, as they committed only seven turnovers.
Saint Mary's gets to enjoy the New Year in Southern California before moving on to San Diego for their third conference game. USD and Portland are likely to be at the bottom of the standings most of the season, so this is a must-win road game for Saint Mary's.
The Saint Mary's Gaels rolled out the welcome wagon for the Brigham Young University Cougars in their WCC opener. BYU joined the conference this season after leaving the Mountain West. The Cougars have been one of the big dogs in the MWC, but they were given a rude welcome by Saint Mary's. The Gaels throttled BYU 98-82, hoping to set the tone for a potential WCC repeat.
Saint Mary's had four players score in double digits, with Rob Jones leading the way with 24 points and Stephen Holt adding 21. The game was fairly close heading into the final nine minutes of the first half, but SMC pulled away at that point. The Gaels closed out the half with a 15-7 run to take a 53-43 lead. SMC used a 13-2 run to open the second half to put the game away. BYU got back within ten at one point, but no closer. Saint Mary's shot 55.4% from the field and 48.0% from three-point range in the dominant effort.
The Saint Mary's Gaels open up their 2011-12 West Coast Conference schedule with an historic contest as they welcome the new kids on the block to town. The Brigham Young University Cougars make their WCC debut Thursday evening against the 2010-11 co-champions in what has the makings of a great early season match. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 8:00pm PT, with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham calling the action.
SMC and BYU have opened the season a combined 22-5. SMC, BYU and Gonzaga are considered the top tier of WCC basketball and each game between the three of them will be pivotal in the conference regular season race. The Gaels head into conference play with an 11-2 record and a ranking of 29 in the Pomeroy Ratings. The Cougars are 11-3 and ranked 20th in the Pomeroy Ratings.
The Gaels are led by senior forward Rob Jones who is averaging a double-double with 14.0 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Matthew Dellavedova is right behind Jones, averaging 13.9 points per game. Dellavedova has been the team's set-up man, leading the team with 6.3 assists per game. Senior forward Clint Steindl is third on the team in scoring and is day-to-day with an ankle injury.
The Cougars are led by Noah Hartsock who is averaging 17.5 points per game and is third on the team with 6.0 rebounds. Freshman guard Matt Carlino is second on the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game. Carlino also leads the team with 4.8 assists per game. BYU is the WCC's top-scoring team, averaging 79.6 points per game. They also lead the league in field goal percentage (.488), 3-point percentage (.398), rebounding (38.9), blocked shots (5.1), assists (18.6) and turnover margin (+2.0). SMC and BYU lead the league in 15 of 21 statistical categories tracked by the WCC.
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