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.