The St. Mary's Gaels and the Northern Iowa Panthers played a forgettable contest in the Bay Area tonight as part of ESPN's Tip-Off Classic 24 hour marathon, but it was eventually St. Mary's that paced themselves to victory on Saturday, breaking a 9-9 tie midway through the first half and going on a 42-14 run over the next twenty minutes to break things open.
Some of the sloppy play can be attributed to when the game tipped off. Both teams were playing well past their usual start times. It was a local 11 PM tipoff in Moraga, and past 1 AM for poor Northern Iowa. The Panthers looked totally befuddled for most of the game, shooting only 27% from the field and managing a grand 13 points in the first half.
Matthew Dellavedova led St. Mary's with 11 points, seven assists and four rebounds, although he did have seven turnovers. Rob Jones was great in support, putting up 10 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Stephen Holt also produced 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals to help the Gaels to a crucial early season victory.