The Saint Mary’s Gaels improved to 10-1 in the West Coast Conference as they dominated the University of San Francisco Dons in the second half, en route to a 86-68 road victory. USF trailed 36-34 at the half, but St. Mary’s started the second half on a 14-2 run to give them breathing room the rest of the way. The Gaels lead was as big as 20 points in the second half, but never got back into single digits the rest of the way.
St. Mary’s was led by guard Mickey McConnell’s 19 points and 8 assists, but their player of the year candidate received a lot of help from his teammates. Rob Jones put in 18 points, Matthew Dellavedova added 14 points, and Mitchell Young chipped in 11 points. The Dons received 17 points from Rashad Green and Michael Williams, but it was not enough to overcome USF’s cold second half.
The victory improves St. Mary’s to 22-4 (10-1) and drops USF to 13-12 (7-3). USF drops into a tie with Gonzaga for second place, with both teams now 2 1/2 games back of St. Mary’s. The Gaels have three conference games remaining, while USF and Gonzaga both have four remaining. Gonzaga travels to St. Mary’s on Thursday February 24 in what would be their last best chance to make a run at a share of the regular season title. The Gaels will be favored the rest of the way and will likely win the regular season title outright. St. Mary’s travels to last place San Diego this Wednesday.